Jun 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman (left) with deputy commissioner Bill Daly before first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Expansion: What to Name the New Teams

Like all hockey fans, we here at TMMOTS were excited when we heard rumors of NHL expansion. Once the dust gets settled and we finally find out if the NHL is expanding to four teams by 2017 or not, people will be dissecting possible nicknames for the new teams.

However, let’s get ahead of the game and start looking at the options now and also some new suggestions.

Las Vegas

Hands-down, Vegas will be the hardest team to choose a nickname for. So many creative names will pop up on the Internet if the expansion becomes official. Also, the city lacks a solid hockey history for them to go back in time and use a defunct or minor team’s name. That said, there are the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL and the Las Vegas Thunder, who used to play in the International Hockey League. The “Wranglers” does not sound like a major professional sports team name, while the Thunder’s logo will likely be similar to that of Tampa Bay’s.

Some creative nicknames for a Las Vegas hockey team include the Aces, Blackouts, Gold, and Monsters. Fellow TMMOTS writer Andreas suggested the name Las Vegas Battle to because Nevada is nicknamed the “Battle-born state”.

I really think if Las Vegas gets a team its name will have something to do with Sin City (Black Aces, Snake Eyes, etc) or incorporate the entire Nevada state.


The first nickname that comes to mind for a future Seattle NHL team would be the Seattle Metropolitans, or Seattle Mets, to commemorate the early 1900s profesional hockey team. They also had an impressive colour scheme of green, white and red.

Other less likely nickname possibilities include the Seattle Thunderbirds, the name of a current junior hockey team; the Seattle Totems, the name of a defunct junior hockey team; the Seattle Steelheads (the official fish of Washington State), and the Seattle Golden Seals.

Quebec City

Many fans hope that a future Quebec team follows in the steps of Winnipeg and goes back in time to name the team. Therefore, the Nordiques are the obvious choice, and very little fans will complain about that.

However, if they want to shake things up, they could always name the team the Quebec Bulldogs, a hockey team that began in the 19th century; or the Quebec Fleur-de-Lys in honour of the province’s flag.


Since we do not know where in the Greater Toronto Area this new rumoured team will be playing, it is hard to guess its name. I don’t think the Toronto Maple Leafs will like it if the new team will be called the Toronto-something because they will feel that they will be digging into their market. That said, it will also be hard to name it the Markham-something (possible arena will be built there), Vaughan, or any other suburb because they have little name recognition in the United States. The only exception will be Hamilton, which is a fairly large city, but too close to Buffalo.

Therefore, I think a new team in the Toronto area should do what the Islanders, Wild, Devils, Hurricanes, Panthers, and Avalanche did and name the team after its state (or province). A team named the Ontario-something will not share the same name as the Maple Leafs and most North Americans know where Ontario is (hopefully). The Ontario Moose or Ontario Beavers sound nice.

Otherwise, the team can go back in time and name it after a former team in Toronto. Some of these options include the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors (OHL), Toronto Toros (WHA), and the Toronto Roadrunners (AHL).

Another option will be looking into a former proposal in 2009 headed by Andrew Lopez and hockey pioneer Herbert Carnegie that called for a second Toronto  team called the Toronto Legacy.

What Should a New Toronto Team Be Named?

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What do you think these rumoured expansion clubs should name thier teams? Comment below!

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Tags: Las Vegas NHL Expansion Quebec Seattle Toronto Nhl

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