Dillon Giancola: The great Seattle name search


When the NHL announced that Seattle would be getting the league’s 32nd franchise, everyone wanted to know what the name of the team would be immediately. It even caught on among my co-workers, of whom only one third are sports fans.

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The team won’t begin play until the 2020-21 season, but we won’t have to wait that long until a name is announced. Trying to predict a new team’s name is fun, and something we don’t get do very often.

I remember being up in arms about the new Vegas NHL team calling itself the Golden Knights instead of the Nights. It was fun and silly and harmless, and then the jerseys were pretty cool and the team was very good.

Before I toss out some ideas and weigh in on those that have been kicked around, I urge you to remember that all team names are dumb, stupid, or boring. I honestly can’t think of five current team names tha that if announced tomorrow I would think are great. That’s just how it goes. We overreact to new things, and then are fully used to them a year later. Consider the fact that Cleveland has a NFL team named the Browns, the logo is an orange helmet, and the only thing people make fun of that team for is the fact that they’re not good.

I have no idea how anyone thought ignoring the spelling rules for pluralized nouns and making the Maple Leafs blue and white was a good idea, but they did, and 100 years later I sure appreciate it. When you think about it, it’s kind of like if there was a team named the Canadiens but their colour scheme was based on the American flag. Oh, wait.

Having said that, there are some names that have been tossed around that are super easy to dismiss. The Seattle Baristas is awful. Yeah, I get it, a lot of coffee is made in Seattle, but it’s still a bad name. But then I remember that the Purdue University teams are called the Boilermakers because that was a popular industry in West Lafayette.

One that I like but some people hate is the Seattle Kraken. It’s different, and you could come up with a cool logo. When I was growing up, the Lochness Monster was the be-all-end-all of mythical sea creatures. Then the Pirates of the Carribean featured a Kraken in a movie and now we want to name the Seattle team the Kraken because the city is by the ocean. It’s more relevant than the Toronto Raptors, sure, but that’s not a high bar to clear.

One day, my dad, out of nowhere, suggested the Seattle Sensation. You’ll be shocked to hear that name is not catching on in any circles whatsoever. But it’s great: it has no real meaning, it stands out, it’s goofy, like the best names are, and it makes me laugh at the thought of every single announcer saying “What a goal, simply sensational.”

It’s perfect.  

Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca.

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