Toronto skyline. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
It may only be a matter of time before Toronto gets a second NHL franchise, so what should it be called? We reached out to you on Twitter for some suggestions and added in a few of our own as well. Which name would you pick?
Rick Westhead has an interesting piece on the NHL introducing a second Toronto team through expansion. In it, he talks to economists and sports bankers who consult the NHL and prospective owners on sales and they approximated the expansion fee for a Greater Toronto Area team to be in the ballpark of $1-1.5 billion.
NHL expansion has been in the news for a few weeks now and while speculation always rages in the summer, there really are three - possibly four -
good options for the NHL if it wanted to add a couple more teams. At this point, NHL expansion seems inevitable. It's just a matter of time until we get to 32 teams. This got us thinking. If a second NHL team comes to Toronto, what would it be called? Here are a few nicknames we got from readers or that we came up with in-house. And after the real suggestions, there are a few jokey nicknames at the bottom of this post.
1. Toronto Toros This would reclaim the name of a former indirect rival of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Toronto Toros existed in the WHA from 1973-76, but had to move after three seasons when it became financially unstable. The Toros made it to the second round of the WHA playoffs in their first year, were knocked out in the first round the next season and missed the playoffs in their last year. They moved to Birmingham in 1976 and changed the name to the Birmingham Bulls. They could bring back a pretty
2. Toronto Shamrocks A team of the same name existed for one year in the NHA, the precursor league to the NHL. This team was originally called the Toronto Tecumsehs and then the Toronto Ontarios, two names we don't think would go over well today. But Shamrocks would give this Toronto team a much different color scheme than their in-city rivals and the name has some historical significance.
3. Toronto Horseshoes When a new team comes to Toronto they'll want to scoop up as many Leaf fans from inside the city as they can, but they'll also want to appeal to a broader base from outside the city. With that in mind, why not a name that represents the entire Golden Horseshoe, a nickname for the western end of the Lake Ontario region? The name Horseshoes could also bring a little luck with it. If not Horseshoes, they could get some inspiration from the OHL team to the north and call the team the Toronto Colts.
4. Toronto Tower The CN Tower is Toronto's big landmark and this is what the NBA team could have been called before it settled on Raptors. Maybe this name makes more sense for a basketball team than it does a hockey team, but it's at least representative of the city the team would reside in.
5. Toronto Huskies This is another name that has ties to basketball - some have called for the Raptors to change their name to Huskies. But if no one else is using the nickname, Huskies would be a fit for a hockey team, too. You can make a real nice logo design for this name - one of my favorite logos in all sports is the
6. Toronto Hogs Toronto has had the nickname "Hogtown" for decades. It may come from the William Davies Company, one of Canada's earliest meat packers in the 19th and early 20th century that had a processing plant downtown. Or, the nickname may have
originated from rural townspeople who used it as a way to insult the city and its residents. Either way, the name stuck and Hogs (or some variation) could be a good fit.
7. Toronto Mounties The RCMP is a national and federal police force in Canada that's been around for nearly 100 years and recognized worldwide. This name would represent something much larger than just the city of Toronto and the famous red uniforms they wear would give the hockey team rival colors to the Maple Leafs blue.
8. Toronto Smoke Eaters Another nickname for Toronto - and other big cities around the world - is the Big Smoke. We liked the sound of the name Smokies, but to bring the team some historical significance, what about Smoke Eaters? British Columbia's Trail Smoke Eaters are currently a Junior A team, but the name was originally used by a senior league team in the early and mid-1900s. Those Trail Smoke Eaters won two Allan Cups in 1938 and 1962 and two World Hockey Championships in 1939 and 1961 as representatives of Canada. The Smoke Eaters were the last independent team to represent Canada before the creation of the men's national team in 1963.
9. Toronto Northmen The Memphis Southmen (or Grizzlies) were a World Football League team that existed for only two years in the mid-1970s, but that team was originally supposed to play out of Toronto as the Northmen. This would be a pretty neat name for a hockey team in the city, especially if it's based in the north end of Toronto.
10. Toronto Reds The new team would have to use a different color combination than blue and white and red would be a good cross-town rival color. Baseball's Cincinnati Reds were originally called the Red Stockings before the name was shortened to represent the color they wore. This is plain and simple - and probably unlikely for a modern team to use.
FUNNY NAME SUGGESTIONS
Toronto 67s This would be a great name to troll the cross-town rivals.
Toronto Rakes This one was suggested on Twitter a number of times, again to troll the other Toronto team.
Toronto Re-Habs This one wouldn't troll the Maple Leafs, but plays off the Canadiens and pokes fun at current Mayor Rob Ford.
Toronto Traffic Cones A nice way of calling them the pylons. Not ideal for a hockey team, but would represent the city's non-stop road construction.
Toronto Roughriders Because the NHL has gone on too long without anyone using this famously Canadian team nickname.
Toronto Rough Riders Just to shake things up.
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