According to a report from King 5 News, Vancouver based real estate mogul Victor J. Coleman has an agreement in place with Chris Hansen regarding potential NHL ownership. Hansen has long been connected to the NHL Seattle expansion rumors, but his real interest is bringing the NBA back to Seattle. The big issue for the NHL is that it is not likely that basketball will be returning to Seattle anytime soon. The NHL has made it clear that Seattle is in their future plans, but they have been stuck waiting for the NBA.
What the NHL has needed is an individual to come forward and champion the NHL to Seattle movement. They finally have that individual with Victor J. Coleman. According to the King 5 report, Coleman and Hansen met in person a few weeks ago and have been talking for months. They have gone so far as to sign a “non-binding” agreement that states the terms of Coleman’s role in the project and potential revenue streams for a hockey franchise.
Currently, the agreement Hansen’s group has with the city of Seattle mandates a basketball team first. Hansen’s priority is getting a NBA franchise, but if a hockey team will advance that cause, he is willing to go with the NHL first. If Hansen and Coleman are going to proceed with NHL expansion, they will need city council members to modify the part of the agreement that mandates a basketball franchise. However, as we have learned with the Phoenix Coyotes situation, local government can work at a much slower pace than what the NHL / board of governors are used to.
Local laws and paperwork may be a roadblock right now, but Coleman has made it clear that he believes Seattle has the potential fan base already in place, as well as the desire for a professional hockey team.
We may still be years away from a NHL expansion team taking the ice in Seattle, but it appears the NHL finally has its man in the city and a clear path on how to proceed to comply with local laws.