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Ryan Smith to Let Fans Choose New Utah NHL Franchise Name; Timeline Still Up in the Air

Would should be the nickname of the NHL’s new Utah franchise? Owner Ryan Smith Will Let Fans Vote for Winner



With the Arizona Coyotes getting the green light to relocate to Salt Lake City, Utah, one big question remains.

What will the new franchise be named?

New owner Ryan Smith, has decided to give the power to the people.

Appearing on ESPN’s Pat McAfee Show on Monday, Smith outlined his plan.

“We’re doing a bracket. And I think we’re going to take us down from like eight all the way down, and the fans are gonna vote for this.”

Questions remain however, like how will the eight choices be picked for the fan vote, and an actual timeline for choosing.

In the past few weeks, Uyte LLC. — a company with possible ties to Smith — has filed trademarks for Utah Hockey Club, Utah HC, Utah Blizzard, Utah Fury, Utah Outlaws, Utah Yetis and Utah Venom, which presumptively could be possibilities along with other to be revealed choices.

Online betting site already has Utah Blizzard as the odds on favorite, with Venom and Fury not far behind.

  • Utah Blizzard: +275
  • Utah Venom: +300
  • Utah Fury: +500
  • Utah Yetis: +700
  • Utah Black Diamonds: +1500
  • Utah Shredders: +2000
  • Utah Stingers: +2500
  • Utah HC: +2500
  • Utah Hockey Club: +3000
  • Utah Golden Eagles: +3000
  • Field: +600

However, with the choice ultimately residing in the hands of the fans, you never know.

The Coyotes Name and Franchise History Will Remain in Arizona … For Now

One thing that is known for sure is that the new Utah team will not be called the Coyotes.

There is precedent for a relocated franchise to keep its name. When the Minnesota North Stars moved to Dallas, they kept the Stars moniker, dropping the North (for obvious reasons). The Calgary Flames kept their name when they moved from Atlanta. An example that hits even closer to home? One needs to look no further than the NBA’s Utah Jazz, who kept the Jazz name from New Orleans despite the incongruity.

In this case, the NHL is still serious about hockey in the desert. So for now, the Coyotes name will stay in Arizona. Despite the sale of the franchise from Alex Meruelo to Ryan Smith, a clause in the deal allows Meruelo the opportunity to reactivate the Arizona Coyotes franchise, along with the name, logos, Arizona Coyotes Foundation and the minor league team if he can build a new arena that meets league standards. If he can do that, the NHL will award him an expansion team and the Coyotes will be born again.

New City, New Names

The majority of NHL franchises, however, picked new names. The Whalers switched to the Hurricanes when they blew out of Hartford and landed in Carolina. When the Colorado Rockies moved to New Jersey, they picked a much more appropriate name, The Devils. The Thrashers adopted the vacated Jets moniker when they moved from Atlanta to Winnipeg and the Quebec Nordiques became the Colorado Avalanche upon disembarking in Denver.

The to-be-named team will share the Delta Center with the Utah Jazz until a more suitable two-sport arena can be built.

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