At long last, the Las Vegas expansion team finally has an identity. Team ownership and management announced that taking the ice in 2017-18 as the 31st member of the NHL, will be the Vegas Golden Knights. Five months to the day since it became official that Las Vegas would get a hockey team, the announcement tonight comes as the culmination of months of speculation surrounding countless rumors of trademark filings and legal roadblocks.
After all the talk and guesswork as to what the expansion team could be called, it turns out that a report from NHL.com back in August all but spoiled it. It was reported that the team had filed for trademarks for “Desert Knights”, “Silver Knights”, and… “Golden Knights”. Team owner Bill Foley reportedly wanted the team to be named the “Black Knights”, after the Army Black Knights of the U.S. Military Academy, which he attended. The shortened version of just “Knights” seemed like the next best option, but the team had trademark contention with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League and would have faced legal issues in Canada with the moniker. After considering their options, the team has now settled on Golden Knights. While the double entendre of “Las Vegas Knights” won’t be as clean, that is likely what they will referred to as in the shorthand anyway, and the first team called the Knights in major North American pro sports will still be a nice addition to the National Hockey League.
In addition to revealing the team name, Las Vegas also gave fans their first look at the logo. A gold and black helmet, hearkening back to the days of King Arthur, appears to be the primary logo for the new NHL competitor. Although the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins have their claim on various shades of gold and yellow to go along with black, the Western Conference is lacking such a team and the logo looks promising for some good-looking jerseys down the road. Other team colors will reportedly be gray and red.
Although many hoped for a gambling reference with the Las Vegas team name, the NHL made it clear that they did not approve of that. The goal of any professional franchise is to have a nickname that simply makes sense, represents the team, and, above all else, sells merchandise. Any new team usually doesn’t have trouble with the latter, but with a cool logo that is a reference to both bravery and a killer instinct, as well as a classic color scheme, Las Vegas is well on their way to selling out lots of gear.
Pro Hockey Rumors is happy to officially welcome the Las Vegas Golden Knights to the National Hockey League. We look forward to continuing to follow along with the teams further announcements (jerseys, coaching staff, AHL affiliate) and keeping up with all of the rumors surrounding the team’s trades, free agent signings, and, of course, the NHL Expansion Draft in June.