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riday night is hockey night in Kent 
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Post riday night is hockey night in Kent
Washington, an industrial town located 19 miles south of Seattle. It's Pub Night at the ShoWare Center -- where fans can snag 10 tickets, 10 beers and 10 hats for $220 -- but most people at the Seattle Thunderbirds' WHL game against Kelowna are here for the promise of seeing the next big thing.
The Thunderbirds have a good track record. Last year center Mathew Barzal was skating circles around opponents here; now he's a leading Calder Trophy candidate for the New York Islanders. At least two fans at the ShoWare Center are sporting Barzal's No. 13 Islanders jersey. In fact, the concourse is littered with jerseys of other WHL alumni -- Ken Daneyko, Tyler Johnson, Shea Theodore, Brooks Laich, Duncan Keith -- plus a smattering of random allegiances: Nathan MacKinnon, Kris Letang, Jack Eichel.
"One day," says Chris Simmons, a consultant and Seattle resident who is at the game with his two sons. "We'll have our own pro guys to be proud of, and we'll represent. That's the hope, at least."
That hope finally feels tangible. At December's NHL Board of Governors meetings, commissioner Gary Bettman authorized an ownership group to conduct a season-ticket drive in Seattle, invited the city to apply for expansion and set the fee at $650 million.It was a stunning development, if only for its expediency. (Three years earlier, at a previous Board of Governors meeting, Bettman only invited Las Vegas to run a season-ticket drive; the other steps came later.) Sources say Seattle's ticket drive will begin in February. The goal is for a new franchise to begin play in 2020-21.
But you can forgive a fan like Simmons for exercising caution. Despite Seattle's rich hockey history -- the Pacific Coast Hockey Association's Seattle Metropolitans were the first U.S. team to win the Stanley Cup, in 1917, when they dispatched the defending champions, the National Hockey Association's Montreal Canadiens -- the NHL has only flirted with the city for decades.Ownership groups surfaced, then disappeared. Arena bids sprouted, but never blossomed. The NHL spurned other logical favorites, such as Quebec City, and added Las Vegas while Seattle still waited at the altar. In all of this time, that this city managed not to get a team?" says Jeff Obermeyer, who authored the book "Hockey in Seattle." "It doesn't make much sense."
The area actually supports two junior teams within an hour drive of each other. The Western Hockey League's Everett Silvertips play just 30 miles north of Seattle. When the Silvertips and Thunderbirds play at the same time, as many as 12,000 people are attending hockey games in the area at once -- and that's simply to watch juniors.
The city has already shown it can be fervent. The NFL's Seahawks' "12th man" generates buzz, but many Seattleites point to the MLS Sounders as a model the NHL team should follow. Although the franchise is only 10 years old, the Sounders led the MLS in attendance for their first eight seasons, and finished second behind only Atlanta in 2017, while averaging 43,666 per game (the next closest team was Toronto, which averaged 27,647). They consistently sell out CenturyLink Field. The Sounders built their following from the ground up. They host college football-style rallies downtown that conclude with a well-attended march to the match.
But, of course, if you're talking about professional sports in Seattle, the sting of the SuperSonics' absence lingers. The NBA team was plucked from Seattle and transported to Oklahoma City in 2008, in large part because its owners could not secure public funding for Womens Yoenis Cespedes Jersey a new arena. KeyArena was outdated by modern sports' standards. OVG's plan includes creating 2,200 club seats for hockey, and more for basketball, which certainly would be attractive in a city that boasts eight Fortune 500 companies. Amazon's campus is nestled against the arena.
It's especially a shame that the Sonics left just as Seattle was having its moment. A tech boom is heralding record growth. From April 2015 to 2016, for example, Seattle and its surrounding counties added 86,320 new residents, according to a report from The Puget Sound Regional Council.
Paul Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea. He had Authentic Brian Urlacher Jersey asthma as a child, so his mother signed him up for hockey because she wanted him to be active, and the confines of a rink would protect him from the pollen and allergens outside. Once he stepped on the ice, Kim was hooked. When he was 10, Kim's family moved to Seattle, and his obsession intensified.
He went on to study economics at the University of Washington but in his free time became fascinated by the city's hockey history. He spent hours in the library researching the Seattle Metropolitans. That's when he realized someone held the trademark for the Seattle Metropolitans name, but wasn't using it, and by law, he could challenge for the name.
Last week, reported that someone who apparently works for OVG registered 38 website domains with 13 possible team names: Cougars, Eagles, Emeralds, Evergreens, Firebirds, Kraken, Rainiers, Renegades, Sea Lions, Seals, Sockeyes, Totems and Whales. The team's potential name has become one of the hottest topics in town, igniting a mad dash for rights.
Pamela Bowerman, whose pen name is Jami Davenport, filed an application with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office on Dec. 21 to own the Seattle Sockeyes. That's the name of a fictional team in her romance novels, which include "Penalty Play," "Shot on Goal" and "Crashing the Net." Additionally, a Microsoft attorney is trying to trademark the "Seattle Steelheads."

23. Feb 2018, 06:55
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