Connect with us


Seattle granted NHL expansion franchise; Arizona will move to the Central

The NHL welcomes a 32nd franchise and the Jets 2.0 and Jets 1.0 will now be division rivals.

While Jets fans were focused yesterday on the Jets and Islanders as Winnipeg finished off a three game road trip in the New York Area, the NHL was in Sea Island, Georgia completing day 2 of the Board of Governors meetings.  They met to discuss a number of topics which included the vote to make Seattle, Washington the 32nd NHL franchise for the 2021-22 season.

Now that the NHL will have 32 teams in the league the Western Conference will expand to 16 teams.  The Arizona Coyotes (reportedly not very happily) will be moved to the Central when the 2021-22 season gets underway to make room for Seattle in the Pacific Division.  Of course with the Jets 2.0 welcoming the Jets 1.0 to the division the battle for Benny (who just returned to Winnipeg in 2016) is on!  I imagine if these two franchises ever meet in the playoffs it will be quite the scene with local folks arguing about who possesses the history and those outside Manitoba and Arizona telling them what to think.


Photo Credit: Colby Spence

For those curious the expansion draft rules (to be held in June of 2021) will follow the same parameters as those that Vegas followed (the Golden Knights are exempt from exposing players for the draft) as outlined by the NHL here:

Seattle must choose a minimum of 20 players under contract for the 2021-22 regular season and those with an aggregate Expansion Draft value that is between 60-100 percent of the prior season’s upper limit for the salary cap. Seattle cannot buy out players chosen in the Expansion Draft earlier than the summer following its first season.

Current NHL teams can protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goalie, under the following conditions.

* All players with no movement clauses at the time of the draft, and who decline to waive those clauses, must be protected and will be counted toward their team’s applicable protection limits.

* All first- and second-year NHL players, and all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward protection limits.

In addition, all NHL teams must meet the following minimum requirements regarding players exposed for selection in the draft:

* One defenseman who is a) under contract in 2021-22 and b) played in at least 40 NHL games the prior season or played in at least 70 NHL games in the prior two seasons.

* Two forwards who are a) under contract in 2021-22 and b) played at least 40 NHL games the prior season or played in at least 70 NHL games in the prior two seasons.

* One goalie who is under contract in 2021-22 or will be a restricted free agent at the end of his current contract immediately prior to 2021-22. If a team elects to make a restricted free agent goalie available to meet this requirement, that goalie must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the team’s protected list.

* Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a team’s player exposure requirements unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection.

It will be interesting to see how the Jets look as expansion approaches and we will have more on that to come.

As always stay tuned for the latest Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose news by keeping it locked to and on social media including Twitter | Facebook | Instagram.  And you can follow me on twitter as well (@icdave).