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What would you name Utah’s NHL team? Ryan Smith wants to know

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — There is still no guarantee the National Hockey League is coming to the Beehive State, but that isn’t stopping Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith from daydreaming about team names.

On Monday morning, April 8, Smith posted on Twitter/X with a link to a survey, asking Utahns to send in ideas for the team. Fans were quick to provide suggestions — some complete with jersey mock-ups and logos.

One particularly common theme among suggestions was to follow along with Utah’s winter identity of having the “Greatest Snow on Earth.” Among the top suggestions were the “Utah Yeti” and the “Utah Blizzard.”

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“Utah Blizzard for sure,” one user replied. “Keep the ‘ZZ’ theme going, reference our iconic snow.”

“Don’t mess around. It’s the Yetis,” another user said.

Others suggested the Coyotes, a reference to the speculation the Arizona Coyotes could relocate to Salt Lake City amid arena troubles. Those speculations have since quieted, however, as the Coyotes announced a commitment to win a state land auction and build a privately funded arena.

Some of the suggestions made for a Utah-based hockey team mirrored ideas for a Utah-based Major League Baseball franchise from a few months back. Users in both fanbases feel they could rally behind a team called the “Golden Spikes,” “Saints,” or even the “Pioneers.”

If you’re not a fan of any of the suggested names for an NHL team then don’t worry too much. Smith and fans still have plenty of time to brainstorm names and branding ideas as an expansion for the NHL still seems years away. The Hockey News reported in February that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league is “not in expansion mode.”

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The last expansion for the NHL came in 2021 when the Seattle Kraken joined the league — bringing the team count to 32. Before that, it was the Vegas Golden Knights that entered the competition in 2017.

Ryan Smith, who has ownership in several Utah sports ventures including the Utah Jazz, MLS side Real Salt Lake and NWSL’s Utah Royals, officially submitted a request to begin expansion talks with the league in January. NHL replied saying it appreciated the interest in having a team and called Utah a “promising market.”

There have been no updates on Utah’s bid for a team since.

If you would like to submit your ideas for a future Utah-based NHL team, should one come to Utah, visit the survey here.

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