Las Vegas NHL franchise considering Nighthawks, Red Hawks or Desert Hawks for team name

Josh Cooper
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 13: Majority owner of the Las Vegas NHL franchise Bill Foley speaks during a news conference introducing George McPhee as the team's general manager at T-Mobile Arena on July 13, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Las Vegas NHL expansion team reportedly has narrowed down a list of names they will consider for their franchise, which will start play for the 2017-18 season.

According to, none of the options involve any variation using the word “Knight” which seemed to be owner Bill Foley’s preferred choice for some time. Three of the options are reportedly the Desert Hawks, Red Hawks and Nighthawks.

The website said those names were all registered as several different domain names by Black Knight IP Holding Company, LLC, the company owned by Foley, over the last few weeks.

Foley confirmed to Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he is considering those three names along with two others that are being processed. Foley would not divulge the other two. noted that out of these three options, Nighthawks would work the best, though there are some trademark issues that could come with this. The site was unclear of the spacing for the name for if it will be called Vegas or Las Vegas.

“Las Vegas Nighthawks *could* pose some trouble with trademarks (an issue which has plagued the process thus far), it was a former AHL team out of New Haven and now the brand is being used for a brewing company. It’s also a name being used by a couple of NCAA teams.”

Foley had been partial to Black Knights, as an homage to his military background, in the past, but this idea couldn’t move forward because of a trademark problem.

Recently he said he hoped some sort of variation of “Knights” could be used in the team name, but couldn’t just use “Knights” because of the CHL’s London Knights.

“The London Knights own the name in Canada, and to acquire the name from London is not economically feasible,” Foley told the Review-Journal. “In the U.S., ‘Knights’ are fine. But we can’t use it in Canada.”

Added Foley on Sportsbook Radio from Tuesday as transcribed by Sports Illustrated, “It’s not Black Knights. That’s been vetted, and there were too many objections from my alma mater (West Point) and then (we got) some push-back from some other people, so we’ve put that one aside. 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.”

On Twitter, Chris Creamer from was asked about how a hawk-related name could work with the Chicago Blackhawks playing in the same league and noted how the St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets have similar names.

Recently, it was believed the Foley had grown fond of Silver Knights. On Aug. 3, Foley’s hockey confidant Murray Craven said the team hoped to unveil a name in “the next few weeks.”

Craven has said the team name decision is Foley’s and Foley’s alone.

What do you think about this pivot from a name involving Knights to some variation of hawk? And which name do you like best? Nighthawks, Desert Hawks or Red Hawks?

S/t SinBin Vegas


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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!