After months of speculation, the NHL’s newest team-to-be has finally chosen a name. The new Las Vegas franchise announced their name and logo Tuesday night after delaying the announcement until the month of November. The NHL’s newest franchise will be known as the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The team made their announcement to what was estimated to be between 2,500-3,000 people who gathered at the T-Mobile Arena over one hour before the announcement was set to be made.
Las Vegas NHL expansion team will be named the "Golden Knights"
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) November 23, 2016
When the NHL finalized the details on the expansion process that would grant the city of Las Vegas a franchise, many questions arose. From the team’s management team to the coaches, scouts, and players, there was definitely room to speculate for hockey fans and media alike. While most of those questions were finally answered, one glaring question was still left in the air; what would the team in Vegas be called?
There’s no denying that a team is nothing without a name. It’s an identity that players, fans, and states / provinces can relate to. On top of the name of a franchise, a logo is a visual representation that communities can get behind. The Golden Knights have been working with Adidas on a logo since Mid-July, and the process took upwards of three months to finalize and perfect. As a result, the fans in Las Vegas can now collectively get behind the team’s new name and logo that embody what the Golden Knights hope to be as a franchise.
“Everyone has an opinion, I can tell you that,” team owner Bill Foley said. “I was trying to do consensus-building for a while; then I stopped.”
There was a reported conflict in the past dealing with the usage of the name “Knights” due to the name being trademarked by London of the OHL. With rumors and reports floating around for months about potential names and logos, Foley and his staff can now officially put their full attention towards the expansion process.
20 minutes away! This place is jammed. I'm very impressed. pic.twitter.com/IWitpBDjmo
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) November 23, 2016
With the news of the announcement expected Tuesday, TSN’s Craig Button made sure to get in on the fun and talk about how the Golden Knights team could potentially look following the expansion draft. Frank Seravalli of TSN looked at Button’s choices and went in depth with analysis of the players taken and even some players who Vegas could be looking at in the following offseason when some big name players could be available through free agency.
This is the NHL’s first expansion team since the year 2000 when the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild were added to the league.
As mentioned, the new Vegas team had already checked off multiple big ticket to-do list items prior to the announcement of their name and logo. The team announced its first ever general manager when they hired George McPhee, the former Washington Capitals general manager, in July. Since that hiring, McPhee has hired close to 40 individuals to fill in on the hockey operations side of things, including scouts, video specialists, as well as an analytics department – a department that most teams are starting to find more and more imperative to team success as the league trends in that direction.
In addition to McPhee, the team announced Kerry Bubolz as team president, as well as Nehme E. Abouzeid as their chief marketing officer.
Another big part of the expansion process was the commitment to building an arena that could handle the daily operations of an NHL franchise. Both Quebec City and Las Vegas made their commitments known by investing in new state-of-the-arch facilities. both cities held up their part of the bargain, with Vegas investing in the T-Mobile Arena and Quebec investing in the Videotron Centre. While Quebec wasn’t granted an expansion team, the NHL has played preseason games in Quebec’s new arena when the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens did battle earlier this offseason.
Hockey is officially in the city of Las Vegas, and the Golden Knights will look to make an impact right out of the gate in their first season in the league. Welcome to the NHL, Las Vegas Golden Knights.