6 finalists remain as NHL Utah franchise nears selection of team name

FILE - Ryan Smith, co-founder and chairman of Smith Entertainment Group, speaks before the Utah NHL hockey team is introduced to fans during a welcome event in Salt Lake City, Utah, April 24, 2024 | Photo by Rick Bowmer, The Associated Press, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The NHL team in Utah is down to six finalists for a name.

FILE – Workers put up signs celebrating the awarding of a new NHL team to Utah at the Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, April 18, 2024 | Photo by Rick Bowmer, The Associated Press, St. George News

Smith Entertainment Group announced Thursday the choices have been narrowed to Blizzard, Mammoth, Outlaws, Venom, Yeti and Utah Hockey Club, or Utah HC.

Those are the options fans have to choose from after the process started with 20 possibilities and led to 520,000 votes. The public has until the end of the day June 20 in round two to determine the name.

Owner Ryan Smith has said he expects the jerseys to have Utah on them for the inaugural season. He told The Associated Press upon taking control of the franchise that the name would involve Utah in some way.

Last week, SEG filed eight logo/wordmark applications involving the state name or Utah Hockey Club in light blue and black. That could end up being the name or a placeholder until branding company Doubleday & Cartwright develops long-term branding with a logo and color scheme that will be in place for the 2025-26 season.

Smith’s group, which owns the NBA’s Utah Jazz, bought the team formerly known as the Arizona Coyotes for $1.2 billion and relocated it to Salt Lake City. Carrying over the Coyotes name was not an option because former owner Alex Meruelo gets to retain that logo with the opportunity to bring the franchise back if he can get a suitable arena built in the Phoenix area.

Written by STEPHEN WHYNO, The Associated Press

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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