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Chris Hansen – the Seattle billionaire, not the guy you don’t want to see enter the kitchen – admits that mistakes were made in his failed attempted relocation of the Sacramento Kings to the city. But the man behind the Seattle arena project wants to move forward with it, and potentially with an NHL team as its first primary tenant.
It would take an amendment to his current deal with the city, as his Memorandum of Understanding only provides public financing for an NBA team. It would take an enthusiastic ownership group that’s able to drum up interest and support for NHL expansion into Seattle.
They don’t come more enthusiastic than Jeremy Roenick, and according to King 5 the former NHL star wants to be the face of the new franchise:
“A a source who was in the meeting [with the city], says NHL legend Jeremy Roenick was in Seattle on Monday, along with an investment team, to discuss an expansion franchise and working with Hansen. It is believed Roenick wants to be the ‘front man’ for the NHL franchise. He made an attempt to be part of a group to bring the Phoenix Coyotes to Seattle earlier this year."
Roenick was reportedly part of the “Plan B” for the Coyotes if their ownership debacle continued on in Glendale. The rumor then was that Roenick would join player peers Pat LaFontaine, Steve Yzerman and Joe Sakic in becoming a hockey operations manager.
Roenick addressed the rumor last June, saying that he had a “dream job” with NBC but never denied the report.
The League has shown an interest in adding a franchise to the Pacific Northwest; and obviously the current alignment of the NHL allows for two more teams in the Western Conference to balance it out.
Ultimately, the future of the NHL in Seattle comes down to the strength of the ownership group and Hansen’s ability to get the arena done without (potentially) an NBA tenant. But having Roenick as a hype-man for the effort couldn’t hurt.
As always, Puck Daddy supports any ownership group that is willing to do the right thing and name this team the Sasquatch.
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