Now that we know the NHL is getting serious about opening up shop in Las Vegas, let’s dive into a matter more pressing than how an expansion or relocated club would fare at the gate.
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’ve come up with seven lucky nicknames below, that in our humble opinion, could fly.
But we want to know what YOU think a prospective Las Vegas NHL team should be called. Use the comment section below or tell us on Twitter @sportsnet.
Las Vegas Posse
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. Who cares if it’s been used before? We all know you can’t have too much posse.
Las Vegas Wranglers
True, the Wranglers is already the name of the city’s current professional hockey club. (The East Coast Hockey League franchise is on a one-season hiatus for 2014-15, but will return next fall.) But we see that as an asset. Locals already associate “Wranglers” with hockey. Prospective owner Bill Foley could throw a few dollars the Wranglers’ way and build on an already-established brand. Everything is for sale in this town.
Las Vegas Locomotives
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.
Vegas is rich with ghost stories and paranormal hot springs. The Nevada Ghosts would also be cool nod to the state’s once-bustling mining towns gone vacant. Another one with great potential for an intimidating logo.
Las Vegas Locusts
Not only does this one have alliteration and the assumption of a swarming defence going for it, but the Locusts could derive their handle from one of the most gloriously bizarre moments in NHL history: the 1991 outdoor game in the Caesars Palace parking lot.
The Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers played through melting ice and an invasion of the desert grasshoppers on that balmy evening.
Las Vegas Owls
A star in Mojave Desert, owls immediately conjure up wisdom — something essential to an expansion team front office — and a nocturnal lifestyle, something synonymous with The Strip. The name also has a classic, wholesome ring to it, invoking images of varsity teams. Bachelorette parties will only fill the new arena so much; the new owners will need to lure local families to come see the Owls give ‘er the ol’ college try after the expansion draft.
Las Vegas Rattlers
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?