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Canucks rivalry with still-to-be-approved Seattle NHL team already strong

Last Updated Oct 10, 2018 at 8:16 pm PST

(Vancouver Canucks)

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) — The governor of Washington and Premier John Horgan are already making bets on a possible National Hockey League rivalry between Vancouver and Seattle.

The two joked about it after signing another deal to boost the economy on both sides of the border Wednesday afternoon.

Horgan gave Jay Inslee a Canucks jersey after signing the new memorandum of understanding to promote trade, fight climate change and improve transportation.

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“It does say Inslee 20 on the back. I’d like to just correct the record, that’s when the hockey team’s coming. There’s no other message here,” Horgan says.

Inslee quickly responded, “Thanks, buddy. It’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful Orca and we’re working for all of them by the way. Thank you very much.”

WATCH: Bruckheimer pumped for NHL in Seattle, rivalry with Canucks

If approved, the Seattle team could be ready to hit the ice in the fall of 2020. A decision by the NHL board of governors is expected in December.

Horgan says he’s already looking forward to buying cheaper tickets to watch the Canucks play a short train ride away once a new high-speed rail corridor linking this province with Washington gets built.

“The high-speed rail will be bringing Canuck fans into Key Arena. We’re pretty excited about it and I can’t wait for a couple of good craft beers from BC against whatever you guys have got down there.”

RELATED: BC to fund high-speed rail study between Vancouver, Seattle

He and Inslee are now calling the rivalry the ‘salmon summit.’

Inslee — who’s expecting the NHL to approve Seattle’s expansion team — initially thought the Emerald City’s team could be called the “Totems.”

Now he thinks “Sockeyes” is a more appropriate name, but he admits to not being authorized to name the team that.

To which Horgan responded, “Go Chinooks! The orcas will eat them more readily.”

The focus of the new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed at the 2018 Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference is to boost the Cascadia region’s economy, protect the environment and combat climate change, as well as promote trade and improve transportation.