Sand Knights? Las Vegas NHL team name mystery deepens

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Getty Images

They won’t be the Las Vegas Knights because of complicated trademark issues with the London Knights of the OHL.

They won’t be the Las Vegas Black Knights because owner Bill Foley received pushback from the U.S. Army, and moved on.

They won’t be the Las Vegas Aces, Deuces, Blackjacks, Jackpots, Pit Bosses or Craps, because “the NHL has made it very clear that the name really should not be associated with gambling,” according to Foley. Despite, you know, the NHL taking ad dollars from poker sites and being an equity investor in Draft Kings. But we digress…

So what is the Las Vegas expansion franchise going to be called?

Clark Rasmussen of sniffed around last week and discovered that along with Nighthawks, Red Hawks and Desert Hawks, the team had secured domain rights to properties involving the Las Vegas Desert Knights. Foley confirmed it.

The names Silver Knights and Golden Knights – hey, isn’t that too close to Golden Nuggets? – entered the fray over the weekend. Desert Knights, Golden Knights and Silver Knights were all registered by the team last week.

Desert Knights, eh?

Batman v. superman

Then, on Monday, one more name for the rumor mill: The Las Vegas Sand Knights, which was registered by “Black Knight IP Holding Company, LLC – one of Las Vegas team owner Bill Foley’s companies – on August 23,” according to Rasmussen.

Now, Sand Knights is at the same time an epically horrible and epically memorable name, like when the New Jersey Nets were considering becoming the Swamp Dragons. It sounds slightly like a Medieval slur. But it’s also a name with few trademark entanglements, unless the makers of an Adventure Time card game are going to claim propriety.


A couple of reactions to this latest round of Las Vegas name speculation:

  • Silver Knights is solid. Nevada’s the Silver State. Foley gets his “Knights” in there. All things considered, not bad. Would buy that jersey.

  • No “sand” or “desert” anything. The logo might as well be Wayne Knight’s character from JURASSIC PARK yelling “non-traditional market! We got a non-traditional market over here!!!”

Now, the Las Vegas Wayne Knights, on the other hand …

  • But let’s be honest: Black Knights, Desert Knights or Wayne Knights, this is going to be Devil Rays Syndrome.

The MLB’s Tampa Bay Devil Rays formally became the Tampa Bay Rays in 2007 after nine years. But during those nine years, they were known for two things: Being abjectly terrible and having no one call them the “Devil Rays.”

One imagines the same thing will occur for the Las Vegas [Your Modifier Here] Knights. The fans will chant “Let’s Go Knights!” Their first draft pick will be “proud to be a Knight.” will run “Kings Crown Knights” roughly five times per season.

So, in summary: You sure you don’t like “Scorpions,” Foley?

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.