Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena (via Twitter/Vegas is Hockey)
Las Vegas team owner Bill Foley confirmed that Nighthawks, Red Hawks and Desert Hawks are all potential names, but the club may already be going another direction. Regardless, Foley said he wants merchandise in place for the Los Angeles Kings’ pre-season games at T-Mobile Arena.
The belief was Bill Foley wanted his Las Vegas NHL franchise to be named the Knights in some way, shape or form. However, Foley may be getting creative in his hunt to get the nod to his alma mater, West Point, into the expansion franchise’s moniker.
Last week, reports were that Foley’s attempts to secure the Knights name were proving difficult, and some reports pointed to the OHL’s London Knights as one of the road blocks between Foley and the name. The Knights have since said no one from the Las Vegas franchise has contacted the team regarding the name, according to CTV’s Norman James, and Foley pointed to West Point as one of the biggest reasons why Black Knights, his believed preference for the team name, wouldn’t work out.
“(Black Knights) has been vetted, and there were too many objections from my alma mater and then some push-back from some other people, so we’ve put that one aside,” Foley told Sportsbook Radio, via Sports Illustrated. “But the name is going to have...Knights somewhere in some fashion, some way. Or, there’s one particular animal, a bird, that we have available to us that we might use.”
SportsLogos.net’s Chris Creamer reported Thursday that the bird in question is a Hawk, which led to three potential names on the table for the Las Vegas franchise — the Desert Hawks, Red Hawks and Nighthawks — with the latter having a slight connection the Knights name Foley was after. Following Creamer’s report, Foley confirmed the three names are owned by his company, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Steve Carp, Jr., reported Foley said he had two more names being processed for possible use by the franchise. There’s yet to be any indication what the other two names could be.
And while the news of Foley and Co. narrowing down their list and having the three hawks-suffixed names may make it seem as though a decision is near when it comes to the identity of the league’s newest club, there still seems to be some trouble actually settling on one choice. In fact, less than a day after the Las Vegas franchise’s reported interest in the hawk-based names, the team seems to have soured on the idea. According to Creamer, Las Vegas has “eliminated all (three) Hawks names and chosen something else.”
What caused the team to go another direction is hard to say, but Carp acknowledged the fan response to the Nighthawks name wasn’t very positive, with some of the dislike for the name coming due to its similarity to the Chicago’s use of Blackhawks. The similarity may have turned some off.
If the three hawk-related names are off the table, then it might be back to the drawing board in a search for a name that works for the franchise. The only thing for certain is the team still seems to be avoiding the gambling references, so naming the team something like, say, the Aces is likely off the table.
Time isn’t necessarily running out for Las Vegas to choose its name as they’ve got more than enough time to come up with one before the start of the 2017-18 season, but Foley’s personal timeline might have the franchise scrambling to get something in place.
According to Sports Illustrated, Foley wants to have the name, logo and a selection of merchandise in place by the time the pre-season rolls around. The T-Mobile Arena, the future home of the Las Vegas franchise, is set to host two pre-season NHL games in October, and Foley wants merchandise available for purchase by the time the first of those games, the Oct. 7 game between the Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars, takes place.
Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love? Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.