We are just 17 months away from the first puck drop at the renovated Key Arena in Seattle, and the team's name has yet to be released.
The name was expected to be announced in April, but with Seattle reeling from the spread of COVID-19, fans will have to wait a little longer to find out the name of the 32nd NHL franchise.
According to the Sports Business Journal's Mark J. Burns, NHL Seattle will not release a name at this time "due to the sensitivities around the coronavirus outbreak."
The news comes just days after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the league would pause the 2019-20 season. The statement came hours after NBA player Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19.
"Given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some members of the NHL community would test positive at some point, it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time," Bettman said.
The Ottawa Senators announced Tuesday evening that one of its players tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first case in the NHL.
While NHL Seattle will delay its name reveal for the time being, work on KeyArena continues. Per the New Arena at Seattle Center construction updates page, reconnection of the arena footings is in the works.
As reinforced concrete pilings are constructed at our Arena, the removal of temporary steel columns and final loads of dirt signal important construction milestones.
Read more → https://t.co/fnuMhgkbd7 pic.twitter.com/5ZSTDvcBwX
— New Arena at Seattle Center (@KeyArenaSeattle) March 4, 2020
The NHL team out of Seattle also broke ground in late February on their practice facility, which will be located a few miles away from their home ice at New Arena.
— NHL Seattle (@NHLSeattle_) February 27, 2020
As of now, the unnamed team is still expected to join the NHL for the 2021 regular season.
Report: NHL Seattle to delay unveiling of team name originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest