The Kraken officially is part of the NHL, as its final payment on a $650 million expansion franchise fee has been wired through to the league.
“For all of us, it is a prideful day to complete the multi-year process to become an official member of the NHL and the 32nd franchise,” Kraken majority owner David Bonderman said in a statement Friday. “It is the ultimate testament to our fans for their amazing support and belief and today their dream of Seattle and the NHL comes true.”
The move clears the Kraken to make player transactions and participate in league meetings and voting. Bonderman and co-owner business partner Jerry Bruckheimer were given permission to apply for a franchise in December 2017. They agreed to do so the following spring, at the $650 million price tag, and were approved for a team in a vote by the league’s board of governors in December 2018 in Sea Island, Georgia.
“On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am delighted to officially welcome the Seattle Kraken to the NHL as our 32nd Member Club,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “Congratulations to David Bonderman, the Bonderman Family, their partners, the entire Seattle Kraken organization, the city of Seattle and Kraken fans as the Club continues on its exciting journey towards puck drop in October.”
The team is set to begin play in the 2021-22 season, which is scheduled to start in October.