Climate Pledge Arena Seattle Bezos Amazon NHL Oak View Group
Artist rendering via NHL Seattle

Amazon, Bezos team up with NHL Seattle to present ‘Climate Pledge Arena’

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So, Amazon is teaming up with NHL Seattle and the Oak View Group to transform Key Arena into “Climate Pledge Arena.”

In 2020, we’ve been bombarded with stories you can classify as “both strange and terrible.” If Amazon and NHL Seattle back up these promises, Climate Pledge Arena would be a story that qualifies as strange and … maybe really good?

Let’s begin with the strange part.

Climate Pledge Arena aims to produce “greenest ice in the NHL”

Frankly, it’s strange to see mega-billionaire Jeff Bezos pumping up “the greenest ice in the NHL.” But, again, 2020. Bezos posted about Climate Pledge Arena on Instagram, and it’s all a lot to take in:

NHL Seattle and Amazon explained how this “first net zero carbon-certified arena” would work in greater detail here:

The partnership was formed to make the Climate Pledge Arena the first zero-carbon arena in the world, powered exclusively by renewable energy including both on-site and offsite solar rather than the widespread standard use of natural gas in arenas and stadiums. The arena will run solely on electric for daily operations, eliminating all fossil fuels from the building and installing the first all-electric dehumidification systems in the National Hockey League.

So, this sounds like more than merely buying the naming rights to Key Arena. In a vacuum, it all sounds incredible.

Granted, it’s also tough to avoid Boise State blue field jokes when hearing about “the greenest ice in the NHL.”

Boise State field Climate Pledge Arena greenest ice
(Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)

But, kidding aside, all NHL teams should think long and hard about making the arena process more sustainable.

The United Nations gathered disturbing statistics about water scarcity, if you want to combine some worries about the future with the usual concerns regarding the present:

  • In 2013, the Global Water Institute estimated that 700 million people could be displaced by water scarcity by 2030.
  • Frankly, certain numbers are already scary. About 4 billion people already experience severe water scarcity for at least one month per year.

With such realities in mind, it’s fantastic to learn about Climate Pledge Arena’s … pledges.

Justified skepticism of Bezos, Amazon being involved

As great as all of this sounds, don’t blame those who are suspicious about Amazon/Bezos being involved.

This isn’t merely about whether or not Amazon paid federal income taxes. As great as that greenest ice might be, it’s absolutely fair to criticize Amazon’s overall environmental impact.

Beyond the company’s larger footprint, plenty of people can argue that Bezos could do more as an individual. As the world’s richest human, Bezos boasts almost unfathomable resources to make the world a better place. (Forbes estimates Bezos’ net worth at a ridiculous $163.4 billion).

We’re talking about a stack of money so large, your eyes almost glaze over.

So, really, Bezos probably has the resources to make many, many arenas into climate pledge arenas. One sheet of “the greenest ice in the NHL” doesn’t smooth everything else over like a well-steered Zamboni.

Still, by itself, Climate Pledge Arena sounds promising.

“Having worked on some of the greenest projects in the world, this project stands above everything in its ability to reach a broader audience and address climate change and other global environmental issues,” Seattle architect Jason F. McLennan said, via the NHL Seattle release. “I knew the world would force more and more sports and entertainment venues to eliminate all carbon emissions. It was just a matter of when and where. I am delighted it is now and here in Seattle.”

Here’s hoping that Climate Pledge Arena becomes a trendsetter. Not just for the NHL and other hockey arenas, either. Maybe this could be part of Bezos making more giving pledges overall?

And, on a smaller, NHL scale … maybe a team name is coming soon for NHL Seattle?

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

NHL Seattle arena reopening, team name reveal delayed

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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.

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

WATCH LIVE: On Her Turf: Inspiring Greatness Mother’s Day special

NBC Sports will present “On Her Turf: Inspiring Greatness” on Sunday, May 10, beginning at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN

The special is a compilation of stories, defining moments and conversations that have helped shape sports over the last 20 years on NBC while also highlighting Mother’s Day and recognizing first responders. From game changers to championship moms, ones to watch to breathtaking moments, “On Her Turf: Inspiring Greatness” spans numerous sports and athletes.

Women’s hockey stars Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando, along with current NHL Seattle scout and Hockey Hall of Famer Cammi Granato will discuss some of their career highlights.

WHAT: On Her Turf: Inspiring Greatness
WHEN: Sunday, May 10, 8 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the livestream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

PHT Morning Skate: Devante Smith-Pelly sees how COVID-19 disrupts KHL

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

• Devante Smith-Pelly experienced quite the coronavirus-related disruption. As a member of Beijing-based KHL team Kunlun, he’s had quite the couple of months. William Douglas continued his great “Color of Hockey” feature for NHL.com by looking at Smith-Pelly’s journey, including “the road trip became a 35-day odyssey that contributed to Kunlun spending 58 of the last 67 days of the season outside of Beijing.” Wow.

Looking forward, DSP hopes to return to the NHL in the future. (NHL.com)

• Penguins GM Jim Rutherford discussed the team’s contingency plans for various scenarios, and how the organization is communicating during the pause. Stories like these can also be fun when you find out a little bit more about the person involved. In Rutherford’s case, he said that he also really misses baseball. While watching decades-old Pirates games brings Rutherford some joy, it’s not the same as new games live. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

• If play resumes, there are a lot of potential hiccups, including the loathed rust. But Avalanche GM Joe Sakic sees the benefits of rest, too: namely, players getting healthier. (Mile High-Sticking)

• What if the NHL allows teams compliance or “amnesty” buyouts, what with the cap ceiling possibly staying flat or even shrinking? Blue Seat Blogs takes an interesting look at hypothetical buyouts for the Rangers. The choices range from obvious (Marc Staal, Brendan Smith) to tricky but logical (Henrik Lundqvist) to a bold mulligan in Jacob Trouba. Fascinating. (Blue Seat)

• Plenty of teams should consider adding a big, talented, right-handed defenseman like Dustin Byfuglien if he isn’t simply going to retire. Here’s a look at how such a setup might work with the Coyotes. By Five for Howling’s parameters, I’m not sure if that would be the right fit for Big Buffy. (Five for Howling)

• The Senators hired Anthony LeBlanc as their new president of business operations. You may remember LeBlanc from his lengthy run as co-owner of the Coyotes. LeBlanc seems to be a busy fellow, as he’s also trying to bring a CFL team to the Halifax area. (Ottawa Sun)

• As someone who misses the brief-but-brilliant days where the Dallas Stars were aggressive and fun with Tyler Seguin on the roster, it’s nice to see other observers asking for the team to change their style from the current, very defensive-minded leaning. Could such a plan require an outside-the-box (and outside of North America) coaching hire? (Defending Big D)

• The Devils face tough decisions, including on two “interims” (GM Tom Fitzgerald and head coach Alain Nasreddine). They also must figure out what to do with Cory Schneider. Would a buyout or trade make sense, or should they just see what he can accomplish in 2020-21? (NJ.com)

• Meghan Chayka helped organize Zoom sessions cheekily titled “Hockey (Analytics) Night in Canada.” Read more about it at Sportsnet. (Sportsnet)

• Rotoworld held a mock draft for the 2020-21 season. Check out the results, along with interesting insight from Ryan Dadoun, who has frequently contributed to PHT. (Rotoworld)

• Travis Yost takes “All-Decade Teams” a step further. Rather than merely picking a handful of players from around the league, Yost targets selections for each NHL squad. While that’s a more expansive effort, it will provide people with an opportunity to argue about picks. That’s what is really important, right? (TSN) Sznajder

• Corey Sznajder provided a very detailed breakdown of a memorable 1996 Game 7 between the Blues and Red Wings. This stuff goes much deeper than that iconic Steve Yzerman goal, as you’ll quickly realize. (The Energy Line)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

NHL Seattle raises $1 million for COVID-19 assistance

NHL during the Seattle Center Arena groundbreaking ceremony
Getty Images

NHL Seattle is determined to be a positive influence in the community and will support local at-risk families and nonprofit organizations during this challenging situation.

Tuesday, Seattle’s leadership group announced that staff and partners of the organization have raised $1 million to assist those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our NHL and New Arena dreams for Seattle were born out of a strong collaboration and partnership with the City to create something powerful and lasting for our community,” CEO Tod Leiweke said in a statement. “In that spirit, we are committed to giving back to those among us with an urgent and immediate need.”

A large percentage of the funds raised will go to the United Way of King County’s Community Relief Fund to support the Office of Sustainability and Environment’s (OSE) expanded grocery voucher program. It will distribute $800,000 in grocery vouchers to working people who have recently lost their jobs or experienced a reduction in hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These grocery vouchers will be critical to helping working families put food on the table,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said. “I’m deeply grateful to our partners at OVG and NHL Seattle for their efforts to support families and non-profits in Seattle.”

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Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.