When will Utah’s new NHL team have a name? Here’s what Ryan Smith says.

The team’s new owner gives some details about how long the new team’s nickname will take to arrive.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Los Angeles Kings fans celebrate the Kings 4-3 win in overtime, in Hockey action between the San Jose Sharks and the Los Angeles Kings, at the Delta Center, on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023.

Now that Utah has an NHL team to call its own, what will it be called? The Blizzard? Yetis? Will it evoke the past with the Golden Eagles? And will the name include Utah or Salt Lake City?

Fans have been asking that question online ever since rumors started getting serious about an NHL team in the Beehive State. Some social media users have even proposed names that poke fun at some of the more uniquely cultural aspects of Utah — like making references to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

On Thursday, after the official announcement that the Arizona Coyotes would disband and relocate to Utah, owner Ryan Smith answered the question that’s been on fans’ minds.

Kind of.

“It will 100 percent be ‘Utah,’ and then it will be ‘Utah Something,’ obviously,” Smith told NHL.com. “I don’t think given this timeline that we’re going to have time — or nor should we rush with everything else that’s going on — to go force what that is in the next three months.”

Smith said the NHL hired an independent creative studio, Doubleday & Cartwright, to help figure out the new Utah team’s mascot and colors. He described the company, which has worked with sports teams and global companies like Adidas and Nike, as “the best on the planet” when it comes to brand identity.

Smith didn’t give a specific timeline for when the team’s nickname will be chosen or announced. But he did say he didn’t want it take a full two years.

“Look, I don’t think it’s a 24-month process,” Smith said. “It’s a placeholder, but it’s kind of not a placeholder, because we’re going to be ‘Utah’ either way, right? We have the first part of the name. We don’t have the last.”

Smith has gotten some criticism for how the Utah Jazz recently handled its rebrand. It appears Smith understands how much coming up with a new brand for Utah’s NHL team will matter.

“So, we’ll start with ‘Utah’ on the jersey, and we’ll figure out the logo and everything else and what it is that we are,” Smith said. “But that’s a one-way door. You get to do it once. And with this timeline, I think both the League feels better and we feel better to just run the process, and then we’ll drop it when we drop it.