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SEATTLE (AP) During his first stint in Seattle http://www.redwingsshoponline.com/authe ... tha-jersey , Tod Leiweke helped develop the Seattle Seahawks into a benchmark franchise.He’s returning to the Northwest this time with a chance to build a franchise from scratch – pending NHL approval.Leiweke was introduced Wednesday as the CEO and president of the prospective NHL expansion franchise seeking to call Seattle home beginning with the 2020 season. The announcement has been expected since Leiweke announced he was stepping down from his role with the NFL earlier this year. But it was another step forward for the expansion bid.”It’s kind of fun to start from scratch because you can build a culture the way you would want a culture to be built with likeminded people who want to serve, who love the game of hockey. In this, it is a grand opportunity,” Leiweke said.The prospective majority owner of the franchise, David Bonderman, said he believed there could be a possible conditional announcement about the franchise from the NHL in June and a potential formal announcement in September coinciding with upcoming NHL Board of Governors meetings.”We hope there is not any doubt about it and it’s certainly not just a formality. However, there is a process with the NHL and we expect to play through that process,” Bonderman said.NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, speaking before the playoff opener in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, wasn’t as optimistic, saying there is no set timeline for a decision on Seattle’s expansion bid.”We don’t have a timetable,” Bettman said. ”That would be nothing more than speculation. I would be surprised.”While announcing the president and CEO for a team that doesn’t exist yet might seem a bit presumptuous, Leiweke brings the kind of clout that will only strengthen a bid that almost appears to be a foregone conclusion.Oak View Group, a partner in the franchise and the group responsible for renovating KeyArena Darren Helm Jersey , is expected to begin construction on the building later this fall and have the remodel done for the 2020 season. The season-ticket drive that started on March 1 was a rousing success and was capped at 33,000 deposits.Leiweke got his start in hockey with the Minnesota Wild. He also worked in Vancouver and most recently helped build Tampa Bay into a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference. Leiweke left the Lightning in 2015 to become the COO of the NFL and didn’t have any interest in leaving the league office until the project in Seattle began to gain real traction.”The fact is I found the NFL to be a pretty amazing and fascinating place to work and I was starting to get quite comfortable in my role there so I wasn’t looking,” Leiweke said. ”But I think the stars aligned and my son’s advice was, `Dad, how can you not do this?’ Today, I think he’s right.”Leiweke’s job will be to capitalize on a market whose demographics have changed significantly since he left the Seahawks in 2010 after being largely responsible for the team hiring head coach Pete Carroll. Seattle is the largest market in the country without a winter pro sports franchise and has seen an influx of wealth in recent years. Even when he was running the Seahawks, Leiweke believed Seattle was ripe for the NHL and the response to the season-ticket drive only strengthened that belief.”It really is a great fit. I always thought this could be a great hockey market and it proved it. So far, so good,” Leiweke said. ”Now it’s on us because I think people are going to show up opening day ready to believe and what are we going to put out there? Does it all connect?”Leiweke’s hiring also reunites him with his brother, Tim, the CEO of Oak View Group, which created the privately funded deal to finally solve Seattle’s arena issue.”I’m so in awe of what we did here,” Tod Leiweke said. ”This has been a challenging issue and my brother came in here and figured it out.”— ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) The San Jose Sharks were down late against the Anaheim Ducks http://www.redwingsshoponline.com/authe ... kin-jersey , but their confidence never wavered.To hear Logan Couture tell it, the Sharks were too naive to be afraid against the five-time defending Pacific Division winners.”Maybe guys are just young and they don’t know better,” Couture said.Timo Meier tied it with 53.7 seconds remaining, Joe Pavelski and Couture scored in the shootout, and the Sharks rallied to beat the Ducks 3-2 on Sunday night.Martin Jones made 25 saves in the Sharks’ second straight win. Jones stopped Adam Henrique’s shot in the first round, and Rickard Rakell hit the post in the second.Couture also had a goal and an assist in regulation to help San Jose move into second place in the Pacific, two points ahead of Calgary. Anaheim is tied with Los Angeles in fourth, one point behind the Flames.”It took 59 minutes to battle back and get it to overtime, but I liked our game tonight,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. ”I thought we played an excellent road game considering the circumstances. It was a gutsy win.”Ondrej Kase had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who had won three straight home games. Cam Fowler also scored, Nick Ritchie had two assists and John Gibson made 37 saves.Meier positioned himself on the edge of the crease to tip in Couture’s shot and secure at least a point for the Sharks. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle was not pleased with how passive his team was during the sequence, giving Couture a chance to let the play develop and Meier to get free in front of the net.”In the situation we’re in, in my mind Frans Nielsen Jersey Kids , we should have had more of a push on the guy that passed the puck and we should have had better coverage for the guy that tapped it in backdoor. He was wide-open and you can’t allow that to happen,” Carlyle said.”Actually, I was kind of surprised how much time I had,” said Couture, who trimmed the deficit to 2-1 at 10:56 of the third on a wrist shot into the top corner for his team-leading 23rd goal. ”I just saw (Meier’s) stick in the lane, and he’s a big, strong guy, so he was able to put it in the net.”Fowler’s seventh goal of the season put the Ducks ahead 2-0 at 6:28 of the third.Anaheim jumped in front on Kase’s third goal in the last four games. Kase sped in down the right boards and fired a long shot that snuck in between Jones’ legs 2:39 into the opening period.Jones seemed rattled by the play and nearly gave up another goal a minute later after losing track of Derek Grant’s shot at his own feet. But Jones settled in by making a glove save on a shot by Chris Wagner after the Sharks turned the puck over in their own zone.The Ducks had plenty of chances to extend their lead in the first. Andrew Cogliano had a look at an open net only for the bouncing puck to skip over his stick, and Rakell put a one-timer wide of goal during Anaheim’s first of two power plays in the period.Corey Perry had a power-play goal with 18 seconds remaining in the first overturned on a successful challenge by the Sharks, with defenseman Kevin Bieksa being ruled offside.”We had our chances. We had our opportunity and we lost a point, so we’re not going to get all doom and gloom,” Carlyle said.The Ducks are 9-3-1 at home since the start of December, but the Sharks have handed them two of those regulation losses. They won 6-2 at Honda Center on Jan. 21 and went 3-0-1 in the season series.NOTES: Bieksa played in his 800th career game. . Sharks RW Joel Ward (shoulder) missed his second straight game. . Ducks C Antoine Vermette was a healthy scratch for the second time in three games. Derek Grant replaced Vermette on the fourth line.UP NEXTSharks: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday to open a three-game homestand.Ducks: Visit the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday to begin a four-game trip.—