Las Vegas NHL franchise closing in on name, logo

Photo by Chris Smith

Sounds like the NHL's new Las Vegas franchise is close to announcing its name, logo and color scheme, according to a number of reports.

I haven't discussed the topic much this summer. Part of it is my own aversion to the rumor mill. And to be honest, there's not much I can add to the discussion that isn't already out there. The web is littered with speculation about the new team.

In the last couple of weeks, however, things have moved beyond idle rumor. Reports have surfaced on both as well as the Las Vegas team's own website regarding the branding process. What's intriguing is that it seems decisions are finally being made.

It's been long known that team owner Bill Foley is partial to the Knights as a team name. But it can't be trademarked in Canada because of the OHL's London Knights. What he'd really prefer is the Black Knights, in honor of his alma mater, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. But those pesky trademark laws foil him again there.

Over the weekend, Foley apparently confirmed that Knights will be in the name. He just won't say what kind of Knights. Still, it's a great concept that works on a couple of levels. Apart from Foley's ties to the name, spoken aloud, Las Vegas and Knights together conjure the excitement of the Strip and the city's well-known nightlife. It just works.

Foley also said the colors have been chosen and include red — possibly in addition to the black, gold and silver he announced in April 2015. In fact, the article quotes him as saying: "These are going to be great looking jerseys. The colors will be reflective of the name. It will have certain colors that will be reflective of the Las Vegas environment, like Red Rock, that red color."

Among the rumored names are Golden Knights, Silver Knights, and — the most likely after reading that quote — Desert Knights. Although I have to admit such a name sounds better suited to the minor leagues than the NHL. Still, a rusty desert red would be unique in the league — as would a four-word team name.

A week earlier, an article posted on the franchise's official website addressed the logos, indicating that the design process with Adidas is nearing completion.

Las Vegas had its third webinar with Adidas, the NHL's official outfitter of uniforms and licensed apparel starting in 2017-18, on Thursday. Foley said they have the general color schemes and themes in place and "a logo that we like that needs more refinement."

In mid-October, around the start of the regular season, Foley said he hopes to announce the name, logo and color scheme, and sell merchandise such as hats and T-shirts. Jerseys probably won't go on sale until December.

Perhaps in another few weeks we'll have all our answers.

For now, I'm betting on the Las Vegas Desert Knights. What about you?