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NHL Seattle arena reopening, team name reveal delayed

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper tells Mike Tirico that players are excited to return and that maintaining meaning and integrity of the game was instrumental in the NHL's return-to-play format.

The NHL’s 32nd franchise will have a name. Eventually. But with all that’s going on in the world at the moment, making such a grand announcement doesn’t seem like the best of ideas.

NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke told The Seattle Times that there’s a chance the name could be revealed in the fall. The organization has continued to work on trademarks for multiple names and has started designing logos and uniforms.

“It’s not the right time,” Leiweke told Geoff Baker. “Vegas did it a year out. We’ve got ample time, and the thing this organization will never be is tone deaf. So we’ve got to pick the right time, and we’ve got to make sure all of our ducks are in a row.”

We know that the choices are down to five names since that’s what the franchise placed inside the Seattle Space Need time capsule back in October. Come April 21, 2062 -- if we haven’t already -- we’ll learn the four choices that didn’t make the cut.

Leiweke also revealed that the reopening of KeyArena will be delayed by a few months with the COVID-19 pandemic slowing down construction.

“Any delay is absolutely minimal. Given what we went through the workers have kept building. But there have been issues with supply lines,” Leiweke told the Associated Press. “If it’s not going to be the date we hoped it’s not very long thereafter. And it’s impressive how they’ve actually kept things on schedule. If our target was early summer of 2021 to say we’re going to hit it sometime in the summer is pretty good considering all things.”

The privately funded project is expected to cost $930 million.

The delay shouldn’t affect the hockey team hitting the ice that October, but it has all but ruled out holding the NHL Draft and the expansion draft there next June.


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.