Seattle or Portland: I think it's definitely Portland because of current arena and geography. I don't know what Rose is like as an ice arena, but I can only assume it would be leaps and bounds ahead of Seattle. It' also further from Vancouver and infringe less on any Seattle 'nuck faithful. Are there many?
Not as many nuck fans in Seattle as you would think. Just as many Avs or Wings fans here. However, if they make some noise in the playoffs fans would come out of the woodwork I suspect.
You know for a fact that in Seattle's arena that some of the seats can't see the ice?
I know that for a fact. Key Arena is not built to house an NHL team. Go to a T-Birds game and you will see on one end of the arena the entire bank of seats are retracted to make room for the ice surface. It holds 12K for hockey, tops, and I think that may even be generous.
If a team were to move to the Pacific NW, or the NHL was to expand again (I hope not), Portland would get there long before Seattle. The Rose Garden will hold around 18,500 for hockey, and the area is clamouring for another professional sports team. They would support a hockey team well. In Seattle, a team would play red-headed stepchild to the M's, Seahawks, Huskies, and Sonics. Seattle is a fair weather sports town. If the team didn't win, no one would come out.
Check out the seating chart for hockey at the Key and you will see what I mean ...
All of the seats from Sec. 218 to 224 and 118 to 124 are retracted to fit the ice surface. It simply isn't big enough for NHL hockey, and would take a complete remodel to retrofit for hockey.