When the situation in Arizona finally appeared to straighten itself out it among other things seem to bring an end to the hopes and dreams of those in Seattle and Portland wishing for the Coyotes to relocate to their fine cities.

That's where NHL Deputy Commissioner Billy Daly comes in to restore the hope of the hockey denizens of Pacific Northwest! Speaking in Vancouver on Tuesday night Daly was asked about Seattle and if the NHL would put a team in the city south of Vancouver.

"We don't want to target Seattle specifically. I'm not sure we ever really addressed Seattle as a specific alternative in that process" Daly said referring to the Coyotes saga.

"But I think it's safe to say we're very intrigued by the Pacific Northwest generally. Going forward I would expect that to the extent expansion comes into the picture or relocation is needed I'm sure the Pacific Northwest is going to get serious consideration."

There are a couple of things to take away from what Daly said on the matter here.

First: As far as I can recall this is the first time that anybody in the NHL has even addressed the possibility of expansion with anything but a dismissive huff. Usually when the E word has been brought up it's been shot down faster than you can say Fahrvergnügen. Just about everybody believes expansion will happen it's just nobody from the league would acknowledge it as a possibility. Consider it acknowledged.

Second: Daly was really distancing himself from Seattle there eh? Not to say that Seattle wouldn't be in the consideration but he chooses to say note the Pacific Northwest would be in the conversation not necessarily just Seattle. That would leave pretty much just Portland as another alternative. They already have an arena that would be NHL ready a big plus over Seattle.