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Volume 26 No. 174
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NHL Seattle Receives Big Break By Players Not Opting Out Of CBA

NHL Seattle "received a huge break" when NHL players decided not to opt out of the CBA, as it "heads off the possibility of a work stoppage next year that might have hampered" the expansion franchise's run up to an October '21 launch date, according to Geoff Baker of the SEATTLE TIMES. NHL Seattle President & CEO Tod Leiweke said, "The perception of this hanging over our head one year out could have been negative." He added that yesterday's decision by players "won’t otherwise impact his team’s daily operations as it prepares to add some professional scouts in coming days." Baker notes the team could also "announce the additions of some analytical staffers shortly." Any extension of the CBA would "provide additional cost certainty for NHL Seattle as it begins planning its future payroll and drafting decisions." The NHL expansion draft will now also take place in June '21 as planned, something that "might not have been the case" had a '20 lockout occurred (SEATTLE TIMES, 9/17).

START FROM SCRATCH: The TIMES' Baker notes KeyArena, which will house the NHL Seattle team, has been "completely gutted beneath its 44-million-pound roof." Oak View Group officials said the project is still on track for a summer '21 completion but will not be more specific until next year. The interior grandstands within the arena, as well as adjacent smaller buildings, have now been "demolished as crews continue pushing back several tons of dirt ahead of further excavation." The plan is to "dig an additional 15 feet below the current arena floor -- roughly 60 feet below street level -- and then spread the base of the arena wider to encompass more than 800,000 square feet" (SEATTLE TIMES, 9/17).