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NHL could expand to Seattle in three years, says investor

Sept 11 Anniversary

A U.S. Coast Guard response boat drives past the Space Needle as it returns from a cargo ship inspection mission in Elliott Bay near Seattle, Friday, Sept. 9, 2011. On the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Coast Guard boats will be providing escorts and security for Washington state ferries and other marine traffic in the Seattle metro area. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


Seattle may be on the verge of getting a new NHL-caliber arena, and there may be investors willing to bring an NHL franchise to the Pacific Northwest city, but one pesky problem remains.

“I can tell you there are not teams for sale that are available to move,” Chicago Wolves owner Don Levin told ESPN the Magazine on Wednesday.

Levin would love to own an NHL team in Seattle, which he’s called “probably the best market in the United States that does not have a hockey team demographically.”

But how could he get one?

ESPN asked Levin about two potential relocation targets – the Phoenix Coyotes and New York Islanders.

On the Coyotes, Levin figures Greg Jamison will eventually purchase the team and keep it in Glendale.

As for the other, “The answer to the Islanders moving is never. They’re not moving out of that market. No chance that’s going to happen.”

We’d agree with him on the Isles -- with a new rink, they could easily be profitable -- but we’re not so sure about the Coyotes.

Of course, even if Levin did think the Coyotes were primed to move, he’s not about to say it. You don’t get on the NHL’s good side that way. Just ask Jim Balsillie.

For now, Levin is focused on expansion, which he believes could happen in three years.

Hopefully the lockout will be over by then.