Las Vegas is one of two cities to submit a bid to host a new NHL team beginning next year. Let’s find a name for it.
By Kyle Magin
Sin City and some arctic outpost were the only two locales to submit bids for NHL expansion teams, we found out yesterday.
Las Vegas and Quebec City (both refuting and affirming, respectively, our ‘How hockey are they?’ metrics) each hit the deadline for the NHL’s expansion review process while likely favorites Toronto and Seattle did not advance bids.
Since the NHL is thirsty to expand and the groups backing Vegas and QC have both signaled their willingness to drop $500 million for the honor, we should probably think about what to call the new franchises so we can find them easily at the bottom of the league’s standings for the next decade.
As nobody has ever been to Quebec City (French for ‘A city in Quebec’) let’s just assume it’ll be a froggy name with an extraneous u or e and move on to Vegas.
The city’s brief, rich history and arid desert environment offers any number of inspirations for a team name. One could select from gaming’s rich lexicon: The Las Vegas 86’ers could trot out a drunk mascot with out-turned pockets who gooses the drink girls in luxury boxes and counts cards during games of Jumbotron blackjack. He’ll play hide-and-seek with a pair of strapping pit bosses during intermission breaks. Sub-living wage employees (AKA locals) could hoist the Las Vegas Whales’ bloated foreign-looking mascot on a litter and parade him around the stadium during Chinese New Year while he demands comps and the barely legal-est tail in town. Looking for something a little more wholesome? How about the Las Vegas Cowpokes, represented by Bundy the Buckaroo? This barely-literate product of Nevada’s public schools (ranked 51st in the USA, a country with 50 states) would be modeled after known Hollywood archetypes like Casino’s Don Ward and Godfather 2’s Senator Pat Geary—luddite locals leery of East Coast hustlers hoping to bring any semblance of industry or culture to the desert. He could hogtie Gary Bettman to entertain the fans and spout his adorably folksy racist ideologies while showgirls parade him through the stands.
Maybe the new team should reflect Nevada’s pivot toward a more outdoor-centric west as opposed to gambling. Introducing your Nevada Mountaineers, who will appeal to the state’s yuppie class by providing granite boulders with sunrise/sunset backdrops for girls in Lululemon pants to take Instagram photos of each other doing yoga poses on top of without leaving the confines of the concourse. Subaru would be a no-brainer sponsor, and The North Face could get into the hockey sweater business.
Perhaps the Nevada Burning Men? Nothing says hockey like getting zonked out on molly and wandering through art displays inside the stadium for just $350. )'(