With Seattle’s expansion application almost ready to turn in to the NHL and the general belief that Seattle will have a team in place in the next few years, the Hockey News’s Sam McCaig recently ran a story with suggestions for potential nicknames for the possible expansion team. With an expansion fee of $650MM, Seattle better make sure they make the right decision when it comes to their team name.
McCaig writes that there are several good name possibilities, including the Seattle Emeralds, Seattle Totems and the Seattle Rainiers. The Emeralds would be a reference to the fact the city is known as the “Emerald City.” The Totems would be a salute to the Pacific Northwest, while the Rainiers would acknowledge Mount Rainer, the highest mountain in Washington state.
Other possibilities mentioned in the story would be the Seattle Evergreens, the Seattle Kraken, Seattle Renegades and the Seattle Sea Lions among others. Some might make good fits, while others come off as unrealistic, but regardless, assuming they are approved, Seattle will need a name at some point.
- The Athletic’s Scott Powers (subscription required) writes that for the Chicago Blackhawks to earn themselves a playoff spot this season, they must fulfil a 10-point plan for the remaining 33 games of the season. The Blackhawks, currently in last place in the Central Division with 53 points, are seven points removed from a wildcard spot and will have a tough time making up the ground, but it isn’t impossible. The scribe writes that the estimate is the team will have to go 20-12-1 over the next 33 games to reach the playoffs, a tall order, but not impossible. Obviously, the return of goaltender Corey Crawford will be critical and that looks like a real possibility soon. Among some of his other key points, Powers writes that Brandon Saad must start playing better in the second-half of the season. His 13 goals and 10 assists is currently heading for one of his worst seasons ever. Powers also suggests a trade could help, but only if it doesn’t involve one of the team’s top prospects. The team had every reason to make those types of trades in the past, but no longer.
- NHL.com’s Scott Burnsides notes that Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos has seen a lot of New York Islanders center John Tavares during the all-star game. Tavares will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and while he says he’d like to stay in New York, he has not signed an extension. Stamkos, who went through a similar situation two years ago, understands what Tavares is going through. “To be honest, I haven’t really had a discussion with John about that,” Stamkos said. “It was something that, as a player, you’ve earned the right at this point in your career to have conversations, to not have conversations, to do what you want regarding your contract. If he ever asked me, I’d give him my opinion. He’s obviously having an unbelievable season and is probably doing a better job of not letting it affect him than maybe I did. It’s in the back of your head for sure.”