Potential Utah NHL team names
(Photo Credit: Sean Pavone/ Shutterstock)

With the recent news that the Arizona Coyotes may be relocating to Utah, speculation is running rampant about what the team could be called.

Utah has a rich history and unique geography that could inspire some great Utah NHL team names.

Here are some of the top contenders:

1. Utah Mountaineers

Paying homage to the state’s rugged terrain and pioneering spirit, the “Utah Mountaineers” would be a fitting name for an NHL team. The Wasatch and Oquirrh mountain ranges provide a stunning backdrop to the Salt Lake Valley, and the name evokes a sense of adventure and resilience. The team could incorporate mountain imagery into their logo and jerseys, creating a distinctive brand identity.

2. Salt Lake Sentinels

Another strong contender is the “Salt Lake Sentinels.” The name conjures up images of watchful guardians standing tall over the city, much like the mountains that surround it. It also alludes to Salt Lake City’s role as a sentinel of the West, a gateway to the rugged frontier. The alliteration in “Salt Lake Sentinels” is catchy and memorable, making it easy for fans to chant and rally behind.

3. Utah Yotes

If the Coyotes do end up relocating to Utah, the team could simply rebrand as the “Utah Yotes”. This would allow them to maintain a connection to their Arizona roots while embracing their new home. The shortened nickname “Yotes” is already popular among fans, and it would be a smooth transition. Plus, coyotes are native to Utah, so the name would still feel authentic to the region.

4. Utah Blizzard

Reflecting the state’s snowy winters and thriving ski culture, the “Utah Blizzard” is another appealing option. The name captures the intensity and excitement of hockey while nodding to Utah’s rugged climate. A polar bear mascot named Icy could be the perfect embodiment of the team’s wintry spirit, rallying fans with its cool demeanor and icy stare.

5. Utah Pioneers

Honoring the state’s early settlers and trailblazing spirit, the “Utah Pioneers” would be a name rich in historical significance. It could also serve as a subtle nod to the Mormon pioneers who settled the Salt Lake Valley. The team could incorporate covered wagon imagery or old-west style fonts into their branding to create a unique visual identity that sets them apart from other NHL franchises.

6. Utah Raptors

As a state renowned for its dinosaur fossil discoveries, Utah could also draw inspiration from its prehistoric past with a name like the “Utah Raptors”. While the NBA’s Toronto Raptors already use the raptor moniker, Utah’s version could specifically reference the Utahraptor, a feathered dinosaur species discovered in the state. A fierce raptor mascot could intimidate opponents and thrill fans.

7. Other Possibilities

Here are a few more potential names that could work for a Utah NHL team:

  • Utah Avalanche (inspired by the Colorado Avalanche)
  • Utah Grizzlies (paying tribute to the existing ECHL team)
  • Salt Lake Eagles (evoking strength, freedom, and majesty)
  • Utah Copperwings (referencing the state’s mining history)
  • Utah Golden Spikes (alluding to the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in Utah)

Regardless of what name is ultimately chosen, there’s no doubt that a Utah NHL team would be embraced by passionate fans. The state has a rich hockey history, from the Salt Lake Golden Eagles to the Utah Grizzlies, and the fervor for the sport runs deep. As the NHL considers expanding to new markets, Utah seems poised to be a frontrunner.

The Arizona Coyotes’ relocation to Utah is still uncertain, but it could pave the way for NHL hockey in the Beehive State sooner rather than later.

Whether the team ends up being called the Mountaineers, Sentinels, Yotes, Blizzard, Pioneers, Raptors, or something else entirely, one thing is clear: Utah is ready for the NHL, and the NHL would be lucky to have Utah.