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Former NFL COO Tod Leiweke returns to Seattle to lead hockey franchise

Tod Leiweke has been a key figure in running Seattle sports teams. (AP)

The group vying to bring professional hockey to Seattle has introduced Tod Leiweke as team president and CEO.

It was an expected move after Leiweke resigned as the NFL’s Chief Operating Officer in March.

“It’s an incredible thrill to come home. Not just for me, but for my family,” Leiweke said.

Leiweke is the brother of Tim Leiweke, the CEO of Oak View Group, the investment group that is building a new arena at Seattle Center and is currently pushing for an NHL expansion team in Seattle.

Tod Leiweke is no stranger to Seattle sports. He was the president of the Seattle Seahawks from 2003 to 2010, before leaving to be president of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He also oversaw the launch of Sounders FC, “which just might be the best expansion-franchise rollout in U.S. history,” 710 ESPN’s Danny O’Neil tweeted.

Seattle’s hockey future gets brighter with Tod Leiweke leaving NFL

During a press conference on Wednesday, Tod Leiweke said their commitment is to “win at everything,” and ultimately bring the Stanley Cup back to Seattle.

“It happened once, it can happen again,” he added.

According to information provided Wednesday, conditional approval of a Seattle expansion team could happen during an NHL board meeting in June. A final decision could happen sometime later this year — perhaps as early as September.