Seattle SoDo arena investor Wally Walker met in person with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly this week, according to two sources.
The meeting happened in at the league offices in New York City Tuesday in between Stanley Cup Finals games.
It's not the first time Walker has met with league officials. The sources described the meeting as an update on the SoDo arena. It was also described as a warm, friendly discussion on the project, and the league's future plans.
The meeting came the day before the City of Seattle and the Oak View Group held a grand press conference in the shadow of KeyArena. Mayor Ed Murray said he selected OVG and co-founder Tim Leiweke to lead a $564 million, privately financed project. It was attended by the NHL's Florida Panthers CEO Peter Luukko, a Leiweke associate, and Vancouver Canucks Owner Francesco Aquilini. The project now goes to the Seattle City Council for negotiation.
The NHL expanded this year with a new franchise in Las Vegas. That leaves the league with 31 teams. As Aquilini pointed out Wednesday, that leaves an uneven number of teams in the Western and Eastern Conference, which has led to natural speculation about the league's continued interest in Seattle.