Hockey Comes to Vegas


Leslie Kain

After decades of begging from the Las Vegas community, we have finally been afforded our first major professional sports franchise, and it’s a hockey team! The news was announced on June 22nd that Bill Foley, a successful businessman originating from Ottawa, Canada, and the Maloofs, a family with a history of collegiate athletics and sports franchise ownership, would be bringing a brand new NHL team to the Nevada desert.

Since then, Foley has been dropping hints as to what the logo, color scheme, and, most importantly, the name would be. Though the colors and logo are still an absolute mystery, possible names have been thrown around to see what the public’s reaction would be to them. This includes the Red Hawks, the Desert Hawks, the Golden Knights, the Silver Knights, and the Nighthawks, all of which Foley has filed trademark applications for. Many are speculating that the Nighthawks will be chosen, based on the fact that the bird happens to be a native species to Nevada, and it seems to be the “most original” out of the bunch.

Foley is partial to the names with “Knight” in them because of his alma mater (The United States Military Academy)’s nickname for their sports teams: the Black Knights. This name has not been chosen due to the Army’s dissatisfaction with the idea.

Any name relating to gambling has been thrown out of the list, too (such as Crappers and Blackjacks), because Foley wants the team to appeal to all sorts of people. However, on the topic of team names, he had this to say, “I found I had to be very, very careful about what I said, because as soon as I mentioned a direction, then everyone picked up on it.”

The official team name, logo, and color scheme are expected to be announced in mid-October, when a large portion of their merchandise will be available to the public. Team jerseys won’t be released until some point in December (just in time for the winter holidays!).

Most of the staff that will be managing, coaching, and scouting for the team have already been hired, many of them having experience with teams in the NHL, but have yet to make any announcements regarding the players they have or have not recruited.

One thing is for certain, though: the team will hold all of their home games at the newly-built T-Mobile Arena, where they’ll hit the ice at the start of the 2017-2018 NHL season. Ice was installed in the arena for the very first time on July 30th of this year, with the Las Vegas Storm Youth Hockey team being the first hockey players on the ice on August 3rd.