Vegas should have got it automatically tooVegas had no true super-stars...at least that was the perception at the time. Even Fleury was a question mark before he came in and had one of the best seasons of his career. Vegas got a lot of middling players who came in, bought into the system and executed the system (which paid dividends). Contrast that to the 'hawks since which have/had no real game-plan, no real buy-in, aging superstars (with the exception of Debrincat) with few mid-tier players and a lot of trash-heap players (by their own GM's design). Futher, unlike Vegas the 'hawks have been 19 players playing individually as opposed to being a team like they were in the cup-winning years.
As has been mentioned elsewhere: what has happened to Arizona, Florida, and a lot of other teams in nontraditional markets--it was in the league's best interest to see Vegas (and by proxy, Seattle) do well--that way the team builds a local fanbase and is not struggling in the basement early on, and thus hemorrhaging cash that the rest of the league has to try to account for.
Based on the rules of expansion, Vegas should have been a mid-tier team in terms of talent on paper. Good enough to win and attract a fan-base but on-paper, not dominant. The result was skewed by their execution and buy-in that made them that good. IMHO when it comes to Seattle, they're playing by the same expansion rules and it will be a tall order for them to replicate Vegas' success. The team should come in mid-tier on paper, but how they do will be up to the coaching, game plan, and buy-in from the players. I don't think Seattle will replicate the success, but I could be wrong.
However, it would have done the league no good if both Seattle and Vegas got nothing but trash-heap players and stayed in the cellar like all the other expansion clubs in history. If the league buys into having a Seattle-based teram and a Vegas-based team (like a Phoenix-based team), the sooner they can be solvent on their own without the league's help, the better.
At least that's my $0.02.
Seattle has virtually the same lottery rules as Vegas. If Seattle is set up like Vegas to be a mid-tier player, why give them the #1 pick automatically when real scrap-heap teams like Detroit, Buffalo, etc. could use it more.