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Good News, Bad News, No News: NHL Seattle arena might not be ready in time for 2020-21 season

The NHL Seattle group wants to start play in 2020-21, but its arena might not be ready in time. (AP)

Will the new arena at Seattle Center be ready in time for a prospective NHL Seattle franchise to start play in the 2020-21 season?

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Doubt was cast by NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly earlier this week when he told reporters he had heard the arena may not be finished until November 2020, and with the season starting in early October, the league has no interest in the first month of a season being played in an alternative arena in the Seattle area.

This story was a perfect candidate for Brock and Salk’s daily “Good News, No News, Bad News” segment, so Brock Huard and guest host Jake Heaps shared their reads Tuesday on the possibility of NHL hockey having to wait until the 2021-22 season to get going in Seattle.

Brock Huard

“That’s bad news, that’s a bit of a bummer, but that is not in any way surprising news. And it is in no way connected and tied to what the Board of Governors are going to ultimately do here (when they hold a final vote on whether to officially grant Seattle an NHL franchise next month).

“This is to me just about timing of construction. There’s a little more Seattle process, there’s environmental review, there could be possible lawsuits – this is just protecting yourself. I think any time you have a massive commercial construction project in this city with as much of it going on, to think it’s just going to get rammed through immediately, I don’t think so. It’s going to take a little bit of time.”

Jake Heaps

Heaps was in agreement with Huard that Daly’s comments were bad news, but he pointed out that it might be in everybody’s best interests to push expectations back a year.

“It’s disappointing for the fans. The fans are excited, they’re yearning for this,” Heaps said. “I think the more important thing is to set this thing up right, to make sure everything goes smoothly, to make sure that when this team comes to Seattle there’s no ill effects after that. That’s the most important thing to me.”

You can hear the whole “Good News, No News, Bad News” segment in this podcast from Tuesday’s Brock and Salk show.

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