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NHL announces Seattle Expansion for 2021-22 season

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It’s official, the NHL will be coming to Seattle in the 2021-22 season. The NHL’s Board of Governors voted unanimously to approve Seattle as home to the 32nd franchise.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the result of the vote today.

Seattle fits a geographic need for the NHL, bringing the league’s two conferences into alignment. The move also has the potential of setting up a natural rivalry with the Vancouver Canucks, who are located just 140 miles to the north.

To make room for the Seattle team in the Pacific Division, the Arizona Coyotes will relocate to the Central Division starting in the fall of 2021.

Seattle’s ownership (NHL Seattle) is led by billionaire David Bonderman, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, vice chair David Wright, Seattle Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer, and former Seattle Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke. The Oak View Group, which includes former Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment CEO Tim Leiweke, is also part of the ownership group, along with various minor partners.

The Seattle franchise will pay a $650 million expansion fee. That fee will be distributed in equal shares to 30 of the NHL’s presently existing clubs. The Vegas Golden Knights, which entered the league with their own  $500 million expansion fee in 2017-18, will not receive any of Seattle’s expansion fee.

No name or logo has been announced for the new team, but the expansion draft will be held in June of 2021. Seattle will follow the same rules for the 2021 Expansion Draft as Vegas did in 2017, however, the Golden Knights will be exempt.

NHL Seattle was originally aiming for the 2020-21 season, but the NHL wanted to be sure the $800 million-plus renovation of KeyArena would be completed for the first game. The team plans on holding the expansion draft at KeyArena in 2021 ahead of the team’s launch. It also allows the group time to complete a $70 million practice facility at Northgate Mall.

Also, the NHL is facing a potential work stoppage in September 2020 that would have started just weeks before Seattle’s anticipated franchise launch. Delaying the launch until the 2021-22 season avoids that risk, and with the NHL having mixed results with launching expansion teams in the past they weren’t will to leave anything to chance.

Congratulations Seattle and welcome to the NHL!

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General Topic

Michigan Football’s biggest playoff Roadblocks

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Michigan had one of the toughest schedules in the country in 2018, and it isn’t going to get any easier in 2019.  Here is a look at some of the Wolverine’s most difficult games in 2019.

Michigan vs. Michigan State 

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Michigan will play Michigan State on November 16th in the Big House where they didn’t lose in 2018.  The Spartans had a disappointing 2018 season with an embarrassing loss to the Wolverines where they only had 94 yards.  Michigan State doesn’t have huge expectations for 2019, but they usually excel in those conditions like in 2017.  The Michigan vs. Michigan State game is always close, and I expect this season to be no different.

Early Prediction: Michigan-27 Michigan State-21

Michigan vs. Notre Dame 

Michigan will look to avenge an early season loss against the Irish in 2018 when they host Notre Dame on October 26th.  Notre Dame had a great 2018 season making the College Football Playoff for the first time and winning 12 games.  Both teams lost a lot of talent from last season but should still be highly ranked heading into the week eight matchup.  This very likely will be a night game in Michigan Stadium, and the atmosphere should be excellent.

Early Prediction: Michigan-30 Notre Dame-20

Michigan @ Wisconsin

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The Wolverines will travel to Camp Randall on September 21st to take on Wisconsin.  Camp Randall is one of the harshest environments in the country and Michigan has struggled there in recent years.  Wisconsin, like Michigan State, had a disappointing season but had a nice win to end the year against Miami and returns Jonathan Taylor, their superstar running back.  This will be Michigan’s first road game in 2019 and will be a tough game to win but Michigan should be the more talented team, and I expect them to pull out a close one.

Early Prediction: Michigan-28 Wisconsin-24

Michigan @ Penn State

Michigan will travel to Happy Valley on October 19th to face Penn State in their annual “whiteout” game.  Happy Valley could be the toughest road environment in the country, and it will be insane on October 19th.  The last time Michigan played at Penn State in a “whiteout” game, they got blown out 42-13.  Penn State lost a lot from 2018 including star QB Trace McSorley and RB Miles Sanders but beating Penn State in Happy Valley might be too hard of a task for the Wolverines.

Early Prediction: Penn State-38 Michigan-31

Michigan @ Ohio State 

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On November 30th Michigan will look to silence the haters and doubters when they host the Buckeyes in the Big House.  No matter what the teams’ records are “The Game” will always be one of the toughest on Michigan’s schedule.  Michigan has lost eight straight vs. the Buckeyes, and Jim Harbaugh still hasn’t beaten them as the Head Coach of Michigan.  Ohio State will be without Urban Meyer this season for the first time since 2011, and they also lost a lot of talent including Dwayne Haskins, a Heisman finalist.  This could be the year that Michigan finally breaks the losing streak.  They have a very talented roster and will get to play “The Game” in front of a home crowd of about 110,000.

Early Prediction: Michigan-42 Ohio State-31

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General Topic

BREAKING: Ohio State quarterback to enter transfer portal

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According to reports, Ohio State quarterback Matt Baldwin will enter the transfer portal.

With Baldwin transferring, the starting QB gig at Ohio State almost certainly belongs to Justin Fields, though he was a heavy favorite to win the job regardless.

 

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Detroit Red Wings News

SHOCKER! Steve Yzerman’s Lightning swept in Round 1 by Columbus

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Wow!

In perhaps the most shocking playoff result in recent memory, the 62-win Tampa Bay Lightning were swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

http://gty.im/874354282

Of course, headlines were made before this season began when Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announced he’d be stepping down from that role in the final year of his contract and serve as an advisor. Speculation immediately ran rampant that it was a hint that he’d be returning home to the Detroit Red Wings.

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