Ranking the 13 names registered by Seattle’s NHL group

David Amber caught up with NHL in Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke, to see why the city is perfect for the game of hockey, and why he thinks the rivalry with the Vancouver Canucks will be great.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a slightly updated version of a story published in 2018.

On Thursday, after more than two years of waiting, the NHL’s Seattle expansion team is expected to introduce its name and colours.

Back when the franchise was first awarded in 2018, 13 possible team names were registered by someone with Oak View Group – the company responsible for renovating Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena. Thanks to some sleuthing by Detroithockey.net’s Clark Rasmussen, the 13 names are out in the public eye.

Here they are in order of how much we like them:

1. Seattle Rainiers

Mount Rainier is just an hour and a half drive from Seattle, and is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. It is a literal meeting of fire and ice, and gives jersey designers plenty to work with.

2. Seattle Kraken

Certainly a unique choice. This is a name an expansion franchise can use and likely not fear any legal disputes over.

Check out sportslogos.net for an interesting mockup of potential uniform sets for a Seattle Kraken franchise.

3. Seattle Evergreens

Dallas reverted back to a vibrant green in 2013, but no NHL franchise has ever really embraced the colour. Seattle could do so, and have “greenouts” during the playoffs. You had your chance, Vancouver. Opponents will fear stepping into “The Forest.”

4. Seattle Seals

The NHL has already seen a Seals franchise come and go, but “Seattle Seals” does have a nice ring to it.

5. Seattle Emeralds

Another option that could heavily feature green, and you can look here for an explanation as to why Seattle is called “The Emerald City.” (Hint: it’s because of all the green.)

But a sports team named after a gemstone would be … something, even if it is a gemstone with a hardness of 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale. That’s almost as hard as topaz!

6. Seattle Sea Lions

The second of three alliterated names, a Sea Lions franchise could borrow heavily from Seattle’s NFL team for colours and themes.

7. Seattle Sockeyes

There’s nothing inherently wrong with naming your franchise after a fish, but, it’s just not all that inspiring either. There may also be a conflict with an existing ultimate frisbee team.

8. Seattle Whales

The Canucks are no strangers to changing their logos, but it’s hard to see them excited about giving up their orca and letting a new rival comfortably slide in with a whale of their own.

9. Seattle Eagles

You probably shouldn’t pick a name that is already in use by an NFL franchise. Especially one that’s never won a Super Bowl. UPDATE: You’re welcome, Philadelphia.

10. Seattle Totems

Seattle did have a professional hockey team called the Totems in the ’50s and ’70s, and the team logo and jerseys would be beautiful. But as sports franchises move away from such names and imagery, is it worth the controversy?

11. Seattle Cougars


12. Seattle Firebirds

The Flint Firebirds (formerly the Plymouth Whalers), began play in the 2015-16 OHL season, and got off to a rough start.

13. Seattle Renegades

Via Merriam-Webster: “A deserter from one faith, cause, or allegiance to another.”

Sounds like … not a great way to build a loyal fan base.


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