Las Vegas’s new NHL team finally has a name: the Vegas Golden Knights.
Yeah, it’s not exactly the most thrilling name one could find. Just like the presentation itself, the name is quite underwhelming.
Either Bill Foley is stuck in the Middle Ages or he has far too much pride in his alma mater because he insists on using “Knights” as a team name. His school, West Point, is the Black Knights, which is a cool name when it has “Army” before it but doesn’t quite work as well for a pro sports team. Obviously, since that name wouldn’t work due to trademark issues, Foley decided to try a bunch of adjectives before it like colors and even “Desert Knights” at one point. Yikes.
I understand being proud of your college, but wanting to name a pro sports team that you own after it doesn’t always work, especially if the name doesn’t have any connection to the city. Just because I’m (presumably) going to San Jose State does not mean I will be forming an NHL expansion team in Seattle and calling it the Spartans (I don’t think Michigan State would be happy about it, either).
However, the one bright spot in the Golden Knights name is probably dropping “Las” and going with just the Vegas Golden Knights. Nobody likes names with a lot of syllables in them and people usually shorten it to Vegas anyway, so it makes sense to remove it.
It is interesting, however, how Foley wanted Black Knights because of Army and instead used Golden Knights, which is the name of an Army parachute team. Whether or not that is intentional is yet to be known.
As for what names I would have decided on for this Vegas team, there are three that I would have probably suggested.
1) The Las Vegas Legion. In Roman times, the legion is the largest group of soldiers of the army. Speaking of Rome, there’s a hotel/casino in Vegas named Caesar’s Palace. If Foley wanted a name that emphasizes strength like a knight, while also remaining true to Vegas culture, only makes sense for there to be a team named after a Roman military unit when there’s a Roman-inspired casino.
2) Las Vegas Desert Storm. Oh man, there’s double meaning behind this name. For one, Foley attended the Military Academy. He probably supports the troops. Desert Storm is the name of the invasion phase by the U.S. in the Gulf War. Alternatively for the anti-war folks, Vegas is in a desert and has suffered its fair share of dust storms like the one that took place during a NASCAR race earlier this year. So you have both a military- and a geographically-relevant name. It’s a win-win.
3) Las Vegas Hockey Club. It’s classic. Vegas is classic. It doesn’t have a nickname that people can relentlessly mock for being “too amateur”. It’s a generic one (obviously) but can stand the test of time. LVHC had been a personal favorite of mine for a while even though it stood no chance of being the actual name. It has a timeless vibe that other teams may not have as trends change. Personally, I’m quite disappointed this name hasn’t been used in some form, whether it be in legal documents or even fan-designed merchandise.
While I’m not a big fan of the name itself, I have to admit that the logo is pretty damn cool. While it doesn’t beat the Neon Knights logo that an /r/LasVegasNHL user designed, it is still a nice-looking one.
Being a Sharks fan, I’m obviously not going to root for the Golden Knights, but having been to Vegas multiple times (and enjoying the trips), they’ll be my #2 team. Yes, even if the two teams will be divisional rivals.