Former NFL COO Tod Leiweke joins Seattle NHL effort as team president, CEO

AP

Former NFL Chief Operating Officer Tod Leiweke was once viewed as possible option to take over as NFL Commissioner should league owners have decided to make a change with Roger Goodell.

Instead, Leiweke left the league last month after three years in his position to return to Seattle and help lead an effort for a National Hockey League expansion franchise in the city. Leiweke was officially named as team president and Chief Executive Officer of the effort by prospective owners David Bonderman and film producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

Leiweke’s brother, Tim, has spearheaded an effort to renovate KeyArena at Seattle Center to serve as a home for the franchise.

Leiweke previously spent seven years in Seattle as CEO of the Seahawks under Paul Allen. He joined the franchise in 2003 and led the charge to hire current head coach Pete Carroll away from USC after a disastrous 2009 season under head coach Jim Mora. After getting Carroll and General Manager John Schneider in place, Leiweke left Seattle to become a part of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s ownership group before moving to the NFL league office in 2015.

The potential ownership group expects conditional approval of an expansion team to be handed down in June and final approval to follow in September following NHL league meetings. The group is targeting the 2020-21 season as their opening season.