What should the (potential) Seattle expansion team be named?
Greg Wyshynski: Longtime listeners to the late, great Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast will recall that we were mildly obsessed with calling a potential NHL addition to the Pacific Northwest the Seattle Easter Eggs. I can’t recall why, other than jerseys that were pink and robin’s egg blue and the string of egg puns that accompanied the name.
But the real answer for what a new Seattle franchise should be called? It’s not the Americans or the Metropolitans or the Totems. No, it needs to be something that works both as a unique name and a memorable mascot — and it must be evocative of the region.
Obviously, it should be the Seattle Sasquatch.
I mean, is there any other option? Bigfoot is synonymous with the Pacific Northwest. The team could recoup its expansion fee in a span of months with all the plush Sasquatch dolls they’d sell at games.
Like the Knickerbockers are the Knicks and the Metropolitans are the Mets, the Sasquatch would be the Squatch. And yes, that means the official mascot of the Seattle SuperSonics, also named Squatch, would be resurrected for the hockey team faster than you could say “Youppi!”
Make the logo a giant green foot or a snarling Sasquatch. Brace yourselves for the inevitable “Sas-SQUASHED” and “Not Yeti!” headlines when the team struggles.
Honestly, this is perfect.
Emily Kaplan: I’ll preface this with a friendly reminder. A year ago, the NHL’s newest franchise formally announced that its team would be called the Vegas Golden Knights. Let’s just say it didn’t go over so well. NHL fans widely panned the nickname (it didn’t help that the actual announcement was botched, the name was leaked hours early and the team’s website went live prematurely). My point is: Now when you say “Vegas Golden Knights,” it feels natural. It just took some time to get used to.
All of this is to offer a huge disclaimer in case you absolutely hate my name suggestion. I considered options that were obvious (there’s apparently a groundswell of people rooting for Washington’s official fish, the Steelhead) and kitschy (still not totally out on the Seattle Grinders). But ultimately I opted for something simple but strong: the Seattle Thunder.
It’s not a total ripoff of the Thunderbirds, but rather a sister pairing — and homage — to the longtime WHL team in town. It’s also some not-so-subtle trolling of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who of course, were once Seattle’s NBA team. Who can’t get behind a franchise that knows how to clap back? But my main reason for picking the Thunder: Imagine the in-arena options for sounds and graphics anytime Seattle scores a goal. Boom.
Chris Peters: After watching the Golden Knights go through the awfully tricky process of naming their team, I think we have to prepare ourselves for the trickling out of awful name ideas for the next several years. Glad we can contribute some of our own.
I would personally love to see the Seattle Metropolitans rise from the dead more than 100 years after they became the first American team to win the Stanley Cup, in 1917. Resurrecting that name probably isn’t as easy as it seems like it should be and I don’t know if it makes sense for the times anyway.
Seattle seems to really like their alliterative names like Seahawks, Supersonics, Sounders and Storm. Emily already cast aside the Seattle Steelheads, which I don’t think rolls off the tongue terribly well anyway, but it’s an option. So, in an effort to compete with Greg’s Squatch pitch, I’ll toss out something completely different … Something so different, I didn’t even know it existed until just now.
I present to you the Seattle Scoters. Surf scoters are strong, stocky ducks that hang out in the Puget Sound, typically from September to May. I’m not sure what that says about a Seattle team’s Stanley Cup hopes, but Scoters also travel in large flocks, which the marketing copywriter will be all over when describing the decision. This would also afford Seattle’s NHL club an opportunity to undo what the Anaheim Ducks did to fowl-themed jerseys when they dropped the “Mighty” from their name.
Yeah, even I’m having a hard time selling this one. How about we just bring back the Metropolitans at any cost?