According to a report, a National Hockey League franchise in Las Vegas is imminent. Tony Gallagher reports in British Columbia, Canada’s The Province that Vegas receiving its’ first major professional sports team is a “done deal.”
With the expected debut of the privately financed 20,000 seat MGM/AEG arena on land west of the New York-New York parking garage in 2016, it would seem likely that any prospective NHL team would call the new facility home.
Now, the important stuff. Let’s say the story is true and Vegas does, indeed, get an NHL franchise. What will the team name be?
Before we get into it, may we eliminate one category? Listen closely, yet unannounced ownership group, NO OLD TIMEY WILD WEST NAMES. This ain’t home on the range. We’re not cowboys. We don’t hang out in saloons. So, no Outlaws, Posse or Wranglers, please. Seriously, the first person to suggest the Las Vegas Rancheros will be shot!
Using some of the current NHL team names as a guide, here are a few ideas on properly naming Vegas’ imagined professional hockey team. The list below does not include the present front runner: The MotherPuckers. That, my friends, is strong.
Weather: (See Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning)
The go to might be the Las Vegas Thunder, an homage to the IHL team that played in the T&M from 1993-99. How about the Heat? Vegas has lots of that. Miami already has an NBA team with that name. Maybe we expand on the idea and take the name “The Dry Heat”? Heat, however, does seem to be counter-intuitive when a team is playing on ice. Then again, the Calgary Flames won a Stanley Cup…in 1989. Perhaps, The Iceholes? Hmmmmm? Others: The Monsoons, The Sun, The Desert Storm, The Caliente (Espanol, bueno)
Animals: (See Arizona Coyotes, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers)
Damn you, Coyotes. We have those! They regularly sneak out of the desert into my sub-division on the search for feral cats and tiny, stray dogs. The Scorpions sounds like a winner to me as does The Rattlers or Sidewinders…yes, snake eyes, very Vegas. Ooooh, or The Las Vegas Cougars? We have ’em in the Vegas valley but mostly at Blue Martini on Wednesday nights. Others: Jackrabbits, Hawks and Bobcats are all indigenous. If, however, you mention Lounge Lizards, however, I will punch you in your cake hole.
Civic Pride: (See Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets)
How about the Las Vegas Nevadans? We are a proud, independent people. This way everyone across the world and Canada can mispronounce our state’s name. (Nev-AD-uh not Nev-AH-duh) How about Las Vegas Metro, in honor of local police. I can see the campaign: The Las Vegas Metro…we shoot without warning! I kid. Take it easy. What about our rich organized crime history? The Las Vegas Mafia, The Mob, The Bugsys or The Spilotros? Others: The Commissioners, The Dams, The Sub-Divisions or better yet The Master Planned Communities, The Foreclosures, The Oscars (Everyone loves the former mayor.)
Indigenous Peoples (See Chicago Blackhawks)
Might I suggest the Las Vegas Paiute, Moapa or Hualapai? None of those seem to have the same ring to them as the Blackhawks do. I will say this. Do not consider Redskins. Definitely not The Redskins. If our new franchise plays on the Strip, we could call ’em The Strippers, hmm? Others: The Locals, The Mormons, The Reflexologists aka The Happy Endings
Satan: (New Jersey Devils)
Hell on ice. Sure. Obviously, we would be the Las Vegas Sinners. Others: Ice Demons, Hellfire, or The Sixes (666)? Come on that’s no more lame than “The 51’s,” seriously.
Local Industry: (See Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators)
Now, we’re getting somewhere. The Gamblers might be cool if they don’t go with a Kenny Rogers, old west logo. The Aces. I know Reno has a AAA baseball team with the same name. But, let’s be honest, it’s Reno. They don’t count. The Kings would work too if not for Los Angeles’ Stanley Cup champs. The Royals might be better. Others: The Conventioneers, The Californians, The Casinos, The Drunk Tourists, The Dealers, The Wynns, Adelsons or Fertittas, The Whales, or my personal fave The Paigows!