The next stage for the ownership group bringing an expansion franchise to Seattle is to decide on a name, and according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, the group intends to make an announcement on what the name will be before this year’s all-star break in January.
“It sounds as though they’re very, very close behind the scenes on finalizing that name and they intend to release that name to the public before the all-star break,” Johnston said during Hockey Night in Canada’s Headlines segment. “So we’ll start to get a little bit of personality to go with that team.”
When Seattle previously won the Stanley Cup — back in 1917 as part of the Pacific Coast League — they were known as the Metropolitans.
However, given that there is currently an NHL division that goes by that name, it’s unlikely to be a prime candidate for the expansion team.
When news broke that a team would be heading to Seattle, 13 team names surfaced as ones that were registered by the Oak View Group, the company that is renovating KeyArena.
• Sea Lions
Ownership has previously made clear that they know how significant the team name is, and their intention is to reach the best decision possible.
“When we realized [starting to play in] 2020 wasn’t in the cards, it bought us additional time, not only to research the name but to better understand who we are and what we stand for,” Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke said earlier this year. “We have become better listeners. A great name not only speaks of who you are but also speaks to what you’re not.”
The Seattle expansion team will begin play in the 2021-22 season after renovations are complete at the Seattle Centre arena. An expansion draft will take place in June 2021, in which the new team select one player from every NHL team except the Vegas Golden Knights, who joined the league in 2017-18.