Now that we know the NHL will be opening up shop in Las Vegas in 2017, let’s dive into a matter more pressing than than the projected roster or how the expansion club can fare in Sin City’s competition for your entertainment dollars.
What will they be called?
For obvious reasons, the last thing the league wants is a nickname associated with gambling connotations. So, monikers like the the “Las Vegas D’Ice” or “Vegas Aces” are probably non-starters, even though the latter has an awesome ring to it.
We came up with seven lucky nicknames, and with the help of the talented folks at the Sportsnet Magazine art department we drafted mock logos for four of them.
We know the new club's owner is partial to the nickname Black Knights, but which one of these logos do you like best? Let us know in the comments below.
Let's resurrect the Posse. Seriously. Although the Canadian Football League's ill-advised experiment with U.S. expansion left little that should be remembered -- certainly not the Posse's lone season, a 5-13 flop in 1994 -- it did brainstorm up one heck of a nickname. Posse suggests togetherness, ruggedness and cribs from Nevada's Wild West lore. It's a badass name (and a decent but forgotten Mario Van Peebles film from 1993). Who cares if it's been used before? We all know you can't have too much posse.
Another short-lived professional Vegas sports franchise, the Locomotives — and the United Football League to which they belonged — existed from 2009 through 2012. But the name is pretty sweet. And the prospect of a burly, charging steam engine splashed on a hockey sweater is exciting. It could give the club a classic look.
There is precedent for a new major franchise stealing its name from a former pro team from another sport (see: Rockies, Colorado). So we take no issue with the NHL club jacking its name from the former American Basketball Association team. Rattlesnakes are loud and intimidating. Hey, remember when Master P played for them?
Las Vegas Black Knights
The Vegas bid was orchestrated by a company called Black Knight Sports and Entertainment, the same name as billionaire owner Bill Foley's financial services company. The name links back to Foley's alma mater. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which nicknames its teams the Black Knights. So, yeah, that would be Foley's preference, but nothing is set in stone yet.