Bill Foley, the owner of the NHL’s newest franchise, has made no secret of his preference for naming the Las Vegas team the Black Knights. Not only is he a graduate of U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which uses the name, he has used the name for a couple of his organizations. Whether his concept passes muster with the NHL or makes sense in our Air Force-based city is to be determined. But make no mistake: The choice will be Foley’s and he promises his decision will be announced soon, perhaps in the fall, unless someone working an assembly line at a sports apparel manufacturer leaks it. (We can be reached at comments@VegasSeven.com). In the meantime, Vegas Seven staff members have a few suggestions.
Numerology undoubtedly dominates our casino culture. To go hand in hand with baseball’s 51s (named after the no-longer-secret Area 51), how about the Las Vegas 47s, a sly nod to the state of Nevada’s official nickname (silver’s atomic number is 47), or the 31ers (the collective colloquialism for the workers who arrived in Southern Nevada in 1931 to build Hoover Dam).
In the same vein, the team could embrace the pioneering spirit and mining legacy of the men and women who made us the Silver State with the Pioneers, the Miners, the Prospectors or the Las Vegas Silver, the Silver Smiths, the Liquid Silver, the Silver Aces or the Silver Miners. The Silver Miners’ logo could look like Stinky Pete of Toy Story fame, or would that be too much like Hey Reb?
They could pay homage to the city’s more recent history with the Las Vegas Rat Pack. Who wouldn’t want to be on a team that pays tribute to some of the entertainers who were essential in developing the culture that is still present on the Strip today?
For any number of cool merchandising opportunities, try the Neon Knights or Neon Angels, Ice Demons or Ice Aces.
For singular-noun fans, try simply Neon: Our city’s greatest export—other than light pollution—is memories of our man-made celestial bodies. Nothing captures the Las Vegas of yesteryear and today quite like our colorful neon heritage. And wouldn’t it be nice to have a neon presence low in the arena so TV viewers will recognize instantly they’re looking at a Vegas home game? Or Venom: snakes’ greatest export, and with Vegas alliteration rolls off the tongue. The logo could be a badass rattlesnake with huge fangs wrapped around a hockey stick, letters in a diamondback-looking font.
If Venom is too nuanced an association with an animal, consider the Vipers, or the Wild Mustangs. Or the Bighorns: Our state animal is a force to be reckoned with when charging an opponent—steadfast, focused and powerful. Or the more intimidating Vultures, which can sense when their opponents are close to death and then feed on their carcasses. Who can’t visualize a representation of the nasty birds swooping in from the T-Mobile’s roof after every goal or every win?
How about Las Vegas Desert Storm as a respectful callout to the thousands of current and former military personnel living here? If that’s too dated or militaristic, just as Black could be dropped from Foley’s Black Knights to alleviate any PC concerns, the name could be simply Storm. Desert storms can be very aggressive and overwhelming—just like we want our hockey team to be.