5 interesting name ideas for a potential NHL team in Utah

If a new NHL team comes to Salt Lake City, they're going to need a name.
Skiers enjoy the unusually deep Spring snow at Brian Head Resort in southwestern Utah. The state
Skiers enjoy the unusually deep Spring snow at Brian Head Resort in southwestern Utah. The state / David DeMille/The Spectrum & Daily

Salt Lake City is making the push for an NHL team. The owner of the Utah Jazz officially requested to own an NHL team in Utah.

According to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, they are very interested in an expansion team. Not only that, but Utah Jazz owner and future NHL owner hopeful Ryan Smith has become quite friendly over the past few years.

Utah would seemingly make a great market for an NHL team. The main selling point of their expansion bid is that they have an NHL-ready venue, the Delta Center shared with the Utah Jazz, available immediately while options for an NHL-only building are considered.

The NHL to Utah has enough power behind it that we got ourselves thinking, what would be a good name for this team? Since we have a week off before the All-Star Game, let’s think of some possible names, shall we?

There are a lot of things that NHL Utah could call themselves.


Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics and is the favorite for the 2034 Winter Olympics. Calling the team “Olympics” would be a tribute to Salt Lake City’s legacy of holding the international games.

It wouldn’t be the first time a professional sports team had a similar name. The Montreal Expos, before moving to Washington D.C. to become the Washington Nationals, were named such because of the 1967 World’s Fair (officially called “Expo 67” held in Montreal.

There’s the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL. Also, any venue a Salt Lake City NHL franchise would play in, whether it be the Delta Center or a new venue, would be sure to be used for the 2034 games.

The Sundance

The Sundance name comes from the area’s Sundance Film Festival, named after the Sundance Mountain Resort, which is named after owner Robert Redford’s character In “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.

Although named after a movie, the name carries a certain Native American vibe to it that both fits with and contrasts, the snowy stereotypes associated with Utah.

The Sundance Film Festival logos all feature a yellow sun prominently, so team jerseys would likely have yellow and orange. If Robert Redford gets on board as a minority owner it would be the perfect name.

The Yeti

The Seattle Kraken named their team after a mythical creature. Salt Lake City might want to follow suit with a mythical snow beast.

“Yeti” is the more traditional term for “abominable snowman” and sounds better for a sports team name. It’s tough and fits the snowy nature of the area but it also seems a very expected and almost uncreative name.

The “Shred”, “Pow”, or “Gnar”

All three are lingo used by skiers and snowboarders. With Park City, located in the Salt Lake City region, the skiing capital of the United States, a ski-themed name would work well.

Shaun White would understand the name but those who don’t hit the slopes might be confused. “Gnar” would be a great mascot name, but a few non-X-Game-watching people might be left scratching their heads at the reference.

The Black Diamonds

Yes, this is another skiing reference. “Black Diamond” is the name given to the hardest and most dangerous ski and snowboard trails. Usually, these trails are reserved for the most skilled and experienced.

Even if you didn’t know what it meant, you probably already knew it had something to do with skiing. That puts it ahead of other ski-related names on this list.

“Black Ace” is an already used hockey term, usually meaning a minor leaguer called up to practice with the big club during playoff runs, so there’s already a little bit of a hockey connection in the name.

Imagine how the jerseys could look. We’re imagining something that looks like a blacked-out Tampa Bay Lightning jersey with an “ace” card logo outline in red and metallic blue. Tell us you wouldn’t buy one.