Gordon Monson: 50 possible names for Salt Lake’s NHL team

No judgment, we’re just brainstorming here.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Utah Grizzlies host the Rapid City Rush, ECHL hockey at the Maverik Center in West Valley City on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024.

If the Arizona Coyotes actually become Salt Lake City’s NHL team, as has been reported to be a real possibility and not in the far-distant future, what should they be called? What’s the name? The Salt Lake … What? Here are some suggestions, divided into groups — animals, things, people. No judgment, we’re just brainstorming here:


1. Specters. In hockey, it’s worthwhile to frighten your opponents. What’s scarier than a ghost? Plus, Specter has nice alliteration with Salt Lake. We’re big on alliteration on this list.

2. Sliders. Best-known as a small hamburger. But the puck slides, and Salt Lake Sliders slides right off the tongue. Alliteration bonus.

3. Shakers. As in salt shaker. Alliteration.

4. Slap Shots. So much more to the game than just 100-mph rocket shots at the goal. Besides, is it one word or two? Alliteration.

5. Skinwalkers. Scary shapeshifters. A bit too scary from Native American folklore. Alliteration, though.

6. Ice-O-Topes. The folks in Albuquerque wouldn’t love such larceny.

7. Freeze. The Salt Lake Freeze. Why not?

8. Blizzard. The Salt Lake Blizzard. Yeah.

9. Chill. Cold as ice.

10. Icebreakers. Grew up a Broad Street Bullies fan, so … We’ll break yo’ ice. We’ll break yo’ face.

11. Black Diamonds. A tip of the knit cap to Utah’s ski industry.

12. Blade Runners. Never saw the movie. But … because hockey players run on blades.

13. Storm. We still get a few of them around here. Alliteration.

14. Spirits. We’re spiritual folks. Alliteration.


15. Pioneers. Fuhgeddaboutit. Don’t go there, hockey can’t be played in boots and bonnets.

16. Saints. It works better in Salt Lake than anywhere, but … New Orleans, hello. Alliteration.

17. Jacks. Short for Lumberjacks, a name that, for whatever reason, seems to work with hockey.

18. Skateful Dead. Somebody passed this suggestion on, a fan of Jerry Garcia. Alliteration.

19. Slashers. A minor penalty — slashing — if it’s routine. A major penalty plus a game misconduct if it recklessly endangers another player. Maybe not a good idea for a name. Alliteration.

20. Gladiators. Loved the movie. Loved Russell Crowe as Maximus Decimus Meridius. Now, that guy would make a great defenseman. Salt Lake Gladiators, Glads for short. Uh-huh.

21. Racers. A tribute to the speed demons out on the Salt Flats.

22. Rockers. Or just Rocks for short.

23. Stonecutters. Rugged. They cut the granite out of the canyons. Alliteration.

24. Icemen. Sounds cool, but, these days, might be a tad bit gender specific.

25. Miners. A lot of those in Utah.

26. Butchers. Nice and mean.

27. Plumbers. Good, solid blue-collar types. That’s Bobby Hull’s game.


28. Moose. They’re massive, aggressive and they live here in Utah.

29. Ice Dogs. Dogs are loyal, protective, and your best friend. Ice Dog just sounds right.

30. Salty Dogs. See Ice Dogs, just add salt. Alliteration.

31. Vultures. A buzzard-tough bird of prey, and they can be found in Utah.

32. Scorpions. They’re menacing, but typically not deadly, which is perfect for a hockey team. Several species, such as the giant hairy desert scorpion and the northern scorpion are right at home here. Alliteration.

33. Wolves. Stealthy-cool animals, as long as you’re not a pack’s dinner.

34. Bighorns. It’s a sheep, but it just sounds rough and tough … your Salt Lake Bighorns.

35. Porcupines. I’ve played a lot of hockey, and nobody on the ice wants anything to do with this prickly creature.

36. Woodrats. Have no clue what these are, but they sound difficult to deal with.

37. Goats. Who in sports doesn’t want to be called the greatest of all time?

38. Skunks. They stink, but they live here. Alliteration.

39. Sandpipers. Some 34 species or allies of this bird have been observed in Utah. The spotted variety hang out around the Great Salt Lake. Alliteration.

40. Lynx. Not as common in Utah as its cousin, the Bobcat, but sweet secondary alliteration: The Salt Lake Lynx.

41. Rattlers. Seven different types of rattlesnakes in Utah.

42. Condors. Massive birds, the biggest in North America, that can be found in the southwestern part of the state.

43. Cinnamon Bears. Yeah, they’re a real animal right here in Utah (and other states), not just a candy. A subspecies of the American black bear.

44. Sidewinders. A horned rattlesnake that is venomous and scary as hell. Not sure how they would do on ice. Alliteration.

45. Coyotes. Arizona had the name first, but it works in Utah, too. There’s plenty of them around.

46. Cutthroats. Some have suggested this name for various pro teams in Utah in honor of the trout. But for hockey, it just conjures images and injury nobody wants to think about.

47. Stingers. Worked for a minute in baseball, a nod to the honored bees in the state. Alliteration.

48. Stallions. Worked for a minute in football. Alliteration.

49. Raptors. In this case, the team would have to go with Utah for obvious reasons, and they’d have to check in with the hoop dudes in Toronto.

50. Magpies. They’re all over northern Utah. Mags for short. Heckle and Jeckle could be in-arena mascots.