December 7, 2017 7:38 pm
Updated: December 8, 2017 1:57 pm

An NHL team in Seattle just became a distinct possibility, as per the commissioner

We could be in store for a great rivalry on the west coast; Seattle now has the green light to apply for an NHL team.

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The National Hockey League’s (NHL) board of governors has agreed to consider an application for expansion from Seattle, commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday.

Seattle’s expansion fee has been set at US$650 million — which is $150 million more than the expansion fee Bill Foley paid for the Vegas Golden Knights, an expansion team that started playing this season.

Coverage of NHL expansion on Globalnews.ca:

A Seattle team would be the league’s 32nd franchise.

A new arena is currently being built in the city with the hope of attracting NHL and NBA teams as its first occupants.

The arena’s completion is pegged for 2020.

READ MORE: Sorry, Quebec City: Loonie, geography blamed for NHL team deferral

The news came one day after Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signed a memorandum to renovate the KeyArena, NBC affiliate K5 News reported.

Bettman said the process of setting up a team in Seattle would be similar to what happened for Las Vegas, according to K5.

The NHL has yet to approve the expansion.

Bettman went on to say that Seattle is the only city currently being considered for expansion. That means means an NHL team likely won’t be playing in Quebec City’s 18,259-seat Videotron Centre anytime soon.

Canadian hockey fans expressed their disappointment on Twitter.

The NHL previously deferred an application for expansion from Quebec City in June 2016.

The league attributed the deferral to the fluctuation of the Canadian dollar, geographical imbalance in the league and the need to limit the number of players lost from existing rosters.

Thursday’s board of governors meeting also saw Dallas billionaire Tom Dundon sign an agreement to buy a majority stake in the Carolina Hurricanes from Peter Karmanos Jr.

With files from the Associated Press. 

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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