Ex-Seahawks CEO leaves NFL to run Seattle's NHL team

Former Chief Executive Officer and Alternate Governor of the Tampa Bay Lightning Tod Leiweke (right) is expected to become President of Seattle’s soon-to-be-granted NHL franchise. (Getty)

A senior member from the NFL front office has left his post and is expected to help run Seattle’s much anticipated NHL franchise, once an announcement is made.

NFL insider Adam Schefter shared a memo, sent to all teams from commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday, outlining changes to the NFL executive, including the departure of Chief Operating Officer Tod Leiweke.

Leiweke is predicted to be joining the Oak View Group, which is managing the renovation of Seattle’s KeyArena. OVG’s CEO is none other than Leiweke’s brother Tim — former MLSE boss.

Aside from his three years as the No. 2 ranking executive with the NFL, Leiweke is the former CEO of the Seattle Seahawks and also has a history in hockey as CEO of the Tampa Bay Lightning before leaving in early 2015 to join the NFL office. It appears a return to the NHL is on the cards, as reported Tuesday by Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.

Oak View Group has gained almost unstoppable momentum the past few months in its attempt to bring an NHL team to Seattle.

Leiweke (Tim) told The Seattle Times in February that his top priority is to name a president of the organization — to run the hockey team and arena — before April or May when the season-ticket prices are due to be released.

Though it’s not yet official, Seattle is inching ever closer to realizing its NHL dream with a president all but announced and renovations to KeyBank arena set be be completed for fall of 2020. After a wildly successful ticket drive a few weeks ago that saw potential season-seat holders put down over 30,000 deposits in just over a day, the NHL call is expected to come when the league meets for its summer board of governors meeting this June.