The NHL is open to the possibility of putting a team in the Pacific Northwest after hopes were raised recently during discussions over relocating the Coyotes to another city before the team ended up staying in Phoenix.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Tuesday that the league would entertain the possibility of bringing a team to the area. Seattle or Portland, Ore., would be the most likely landing spots.
"We don't want to target Seattle specifically. I'm not sure we ever really addressed Seattle as a specific alternative in that process," Daly said in reference to the Coyotes. "But I think it's safe to say we're very intrigued by the Pacific Northwest generally.
"Going forward, I would expect that to the extent expansion comes into the picture or relocation is needed, I'm sure the Pacific Northwest is going to get serious consideration."
Seattle is generally considered a strong candidate, but Portland has the advantage of an NHL-ready arena already in place. Both cities were reported to be in the mix when there was talk of the Coyotes relocating.