The group hoping to bring the NHL to Seattle has hired Dave Tippett as a senior adviser.
Tippett, 56, has coached more than 1,000 NHL games with the Dallas Stars and then Arizona Coyotes. He left the Coyotes last summer after eight seasons; the team called it a “mutual agreement” to part ways.
The Oak View Group — led by investment banker David Bonderman, longtime sports executive Tim Leiweke and Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer — agreed on a privately financed $660 million deal in December 2017 with the city of Seattle to renovate KeyArena downtown. As a hockey venue, it is expected to seat about 17,000. In March, the group launched a season-ticket drive and said it reached 25,000 deposits within the first hour. That exceeds the goal of 10,000 deposits — which was reached in the first 12 minutes.
The group has already submitted paperwork, including a $10 million down payment, to the NHL to be its 32nd franchise. Earlier this month, commissioner Gary Bettman said he expects the board of governors to vote on Seattle’s addition “in the fall, early winter at the latest.”
“There is a lot of due diligence that has to be done, a lot of interaction with the prospective ownership group, David Bonderman’s group,” Bettman said at a news conference before the Stanley Cup Final. “And so, we think we’re on target. And depending on how everything goes, it wouldn’t surprise me that there is a possibility that in the fall, early winter at the latest, that this could be addressed by the Board. But we’re not there yet. And there is still work to be done.”
Tippet isn’t the only big name that the Oak View Group has brought on. Tod Leiweke, Tim’s brother who left his job as the NFL’s COO in March, is set to become the team’s CEO and president. League sources tell ESPN that Tippett was pursuing other coaching opportunities this past season; it is unclear if he will be considered as Seattle’s inaugural head coach.