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Handicapping the Name of the New Seattle NHL Franchise

New Seattle NHL Franchise

Buckle up because expansion is on the horizon once again in the NHL, this time on the west coast where Seattle has been approved for an NHL franchise to begin play in fall of 2021.

The NHL’s Board of Governors unanimously approved a 32nd NHL team into the league, which will give each division in the league eight teams as the Central Division currently has only seven clubs at present. The Arizona Coyotes will shift from the Pacific to the Central to accommodate Seattle who will play in the Pacific Division, which makes sense considering the close proximity to Vancouver as well as a ride down the west coast to the three California clubs.

As a side note, the rivalry with Vancouver should be fantastic as it’s likely the Canucks will be much improved by then and fans would floor in from B.C. to see their team in Seattle. Reminds me a little bit of the Maple Leafs/Sabres rivalry where at least half the arena is filled with Leafs fans from Ontario.

Nonetheless, we aren’t here to discuss the specifics for the new club or how it will affect the rest of the league. No, we are here for fun.

Bovada has some out with some odds on what the ownership group in Seattle will name their new team. Of course, there is a chance that none of the names on the list will end up being the name called. However, given that there is 13 potential names on their odds, I would say the chance is strong that the winning name if among those listed at Bovada.

Before we get into our picks, let’s go ahead and check out the odds.

  • Totems (+120)
  • Emeralds (+400)
  • Sockeyes (+400)
  • Kraken (+700)
  • Rainiers (+800)
  • Renegades (+1600)
  • Seals (+2200)
  • Sea Lions (+2200)
  • Cougars (+2800)
  • Eagles (+2800)
  • Whales (+2800)
  • Firebirds (+2800)
  • Evergreens (+2800)



There are some interesting suggestions here to be sure. With that in mind, I am going to break down three picks here. I’ll pick a favorite and two value picks, with the value picks covering a couple different tiers of odds.

Without any more hesitation, let’s see if we can nail what Seattle will be called by opening night 2021.

Favorite

Sockeyes (+400)

Yea, Totems is the heavy favorite to win, however betting on the favorite in a scenario like this is just about as fun as the name itself. “Seattle Totems” just doesn’t roll off the tongue at all and there is zero ring to it from an audio standpoint.

For those wondering where this name comes from, other than the obvious Totem itself, the last time Seattle has professional hockey, the team was called the Totems. They became the Totems for good in 1958 and played in the Pacific Hockey Hockey league until 1974. They would then play their final season of existence as part of the Central Hockey League for the 1974-75 season.

Paying homage to a previous team makes sense, but this a new day, a new age and this group is going to steer clear of the PCHL and CHL club from yesteryear.

“Seattle Sockeyes”. Now that has a ring to it.

A sockeye salmon is a fish that is found in the Northern Pacific Ocean and is referred to as a Pacific salmon. Considering where Seattle resides geographically and the famous fish market at the bottom of the hill, this name is just too good to ignore.

While the color of the fish is primarily red, there’s a strong chance that Seattle’s jerseys will be green in nature, but I don’t see a problem throwing a red-ish looking fish into a green jersey in some form or another. If they name this team the sockeyes, I personally don’t care what the jerseys look like, I’ll be on board.

Value Picks

Kraken (+700)

It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but the Seattle Kraken would be a filthy name for this team.

If you like spiced rum, you already like Kraken. However, a Kraken itself is a legendary sea monster that is said to dwell on the coasts of Norway and Greenland. If you can’t picture this, just picture a giant, giant squid and you have yourself a Kraken.

Wait, how about the Seattle Squid? Sounds kinda slimy, but I like it much better than some of the names above. Anyhow, moving on…

They could do a lot with their jerseys artistically if they went with Kraken. I believe these jerseys would be better than anything they could come up with if they went with Sockeyes, but again, the jerseys won’t matter to me if they go that route.

Given the odds, clearly, the Kraken is gaining some steam. Perhaps the owners are rum connoisseurs? I think there’s some nice value in this play.

Sea Lions (+2200)

If you want to get into the business of making some real money, I would suggest laying some dough down on the Sea Lions.

The name is fitting given what Seattle is all about. The name rolls off the tongue, not the extent that Sockeyes does, but it’s close.

I would really like this name as it has a ring to it, but also because I want to see a seal-like creature wearing a helmet on the crest of their jersey. After all, the California Golden Seals missed that opportunity by the time they shut down operations after the 1975-76 season. They also forgot to win hockey games over their nine years of existence.

Please Note:
This pick is in the same odds range as Cougars, Eagles, and Whales, and I just don’t see that happening given the bland nature of these names and the need to make an impactful name on the city of the Seattle and its fans. I suppose Seals could work too, but the Golden Seals were actually the Oakland Seals and California Seals at one point, so I think that takes Seals out of the running.

I don’t like it as much as the two picks above, but if you want to throw a hail mary at a longshot, let’s roll with the Sea Lions at extremely valuable +2200 odds.

My Picks
Sockeyes
+400
Kraken
+700
Sea Lions
+2200

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