NHL to Seattle? Former Seahawks CEO named president of hockey group

SEATTLE – First came the arena. Then came the season tickets. Now you’ve got a president. The only thing missing is a team.

NHL Seattle announced Wednesday morning that Tod Leiweke will be the president of a team it doesn’t officially have yet, putting itself to hit the ground running in the event the NHL does what’s widely expected and awards an expansion franchise.

If Leiweke’s name sounds familiar, it most certainly should. Leiweke previously served as CEO of the Seahawks and Sounders, among many other jobs in pro sports, and he’s the brother of Tim Leiweke, whose Oak View Group is in charge of renovating KeyArena to prepare for a team.

Last month, NHL Seattle all but solidified an expansion team when its season-ticket drive netted some 33,000 deposits before being shut down – including 10,000 in the first 12 minutes.

The ownership group of Tim Leiweke, David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer has said it hopes to have a final decision on expansion in June.

OVG has said it plans to begin work on KeyArena in January, with the project scheduled to wrap up in time for the 2020 NHL season.