From King 5 News in Seattle:
Multiple sources confirmed Tuesday that the NHL commissioner and deputy commissioner made a personal visit to Seattle last week and met with its top two elected officials.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly flew to Seattle last week and met privately with King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. Bettman has publicly stated the league has interest in placing a franchise in the Seattle market, but that “building issues” have gotten in the way.
OK, so this isn’t anything earth-shattering. The NHL has been quite open about its interest in Seattle, and the Pacific Northwest as a region.
There’s still no suitable Seattle arena though, and that’s a major issue to overcome.
“Until the building issue is one that we can understand better and be told that there’s a realistic possibility of the building coming out of the ground anytime soon, that’s not something that we can seriously consider,” said Bettman recently.
Which is possibly why Bettman and Daly were in town — to understand the issue better.
This is pure speculation, but they might also have been curious to know if there’s any way to start construction on a new arena with only an NHL team, and no NBA team, guaranteed to play there. According to King 5, “city leaders and [investor Chris Hansen] have indicated they are not willing right now to renegotiate the deal to allow an NHL team to prompt construction.”