The Closer: How Mayor Durkan helped convince NHL execs to recommend Seattle expansion – The Seattle Times

NEW YORK – Hours before delivering a winning pitch Tuesday, two key members of a Seattle contingent seeking an NHL expansion franchise plotted strategy over breakfast.

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NHL Seattle president and CEO Tod Leiweke, still sweaty from a subway ride over from the upper-east-side home he owns, sat in a Midtown Manhattan eatery with an intently listening Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. She had flown in Monday night and missed an afternoon staging session by other Seattle delegation members to work out the tone and timing of their hour-long presentation to the league’s all-powerful executive committee.

So Leiweke, coffee and food flowing, brought the group’s critical “ringer” up to speed. The Seattle delegation had felt Durkan would play the key role in persuading the committee to

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