While in Washington, D.C. for the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors this week, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, expressing the city's excitement on the potential of bringing professional hockey to town. 

“Bringing the NHL to the new Seattle Center Arena is an opportunity of a lifetime for Seattle," Durkan said in a statement. "There’s no doubt that Seattle is the best sports town in the country with passionate hockey fans. I’m looking forward to working with the ownership group and the NHL to help bring a team — and the Stanley Cup — back to Seattle. We will continue to protect taxpayers and seize great opportunities.”

News of the mayor's meeting comes just days after another sign of progress in the efforts to lure the NHL. As first reported last week by DetroitHockey.net, a total of 38 domains representing 13 possible team names were registered by a lawyer with ties to the Oak View Group (all have since been switched to proxy registrations). The names? Cougars, Eagles, Emeralds, Evergreens, Firebirds, Kraken, Rainiers, Renegades, Sea Lions, Seals, Sockeyes, Totems, and Whales.

Meanwhile, design work continues on the KeyArena redevelopment, with the aim of starting construction later this year, with the new facility opening in October 2020. Last week, project architects presented to the Seattle Design Commission, with a new emphasis on the building's south end as the main entrance for the venue.