There are some basic requirements for achieving elite team-name status. First, obviously, no lawsuits, and preferably no legal battles or settlements whatsoever. (Like the last NHL expansion franchise.) That rules out popular submissions such as Thunderbirds (WHL franchise) and any disambiguation of Orcas (too similar to the Canucks’ logo). Preferably, it’s a clean two or three syllables for optimum chanting.
It’s easier to birth a new name than adopt another. It pays to be unique — and, as you’ll see here, have a serious sense of local flavor. Professional sports franchises are now billion-dollar cultural institutions; the names on their chests should represent the community they’re playing in. The Mariners pay homage to Seattle's maritime past. We’re Jet City, and we’re home to the SuperSonics. The Seahawks, well, a public contest decided on that mysterious bird. The NHL Seattle ownership group has already ruled out an official name-the-team contest, but say they will engage the community once a franchise is awarded.
To start, we asked for you to submit your best suggestions for what Seattle’s prospective NHL team should be named. We took your nearly 2,000 submissions and narrowed it down to the top eight vote-getters. To make things interesting, we looked at every entry and selected four additional Editor’s Picks, which were revealed in the second-round matchups. *Note: This bracket is intended to determine a team name. Logos are Seattle Times illustrations.
After a long month of voting and nearly 150,000 votes cast, we can announce the Sockeyes as the official winner of the unofficial tournament to name Seattle's NHL team!