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Las Vegas still seeking name; adds ex-Florida staffers

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Desert Knights could be the front-runner for new team’s moniker

2011 NHL Entry Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

When the Florida Panthers tangle with the NHL’s newest franchise in Las Vegas come the 2017-18 season, there will be a connection of sorts between the two teams.

Last week, the yet-to-be-named expansion club added former Panthers scout Erin Grinnell and former Florida Director of Player Personnel Scott Luce to its growing front office staff.

Both men were let go in the Cats’ front office shuffle early this off-season when Dale Tallon was promoted, Tom Rowe became the general manager and the team decided to switch to a more analytics-based system of scouting.

Grinnell will be an amateur scout for Vegas while Luce will be the club’s Director of Amateur Scouting; so congratulations to those two former members of the Panthers family for landing on their feet.

Now, let’s circle back to that name thing...

A couple weeks ago, DetroitHockey.net’s Clark Rasmussen, in connection with Chris Creamer at Sportslogos.net, broke the news that the Las Vegas team had registered domain names for the three choices for its moniker: Nighthawks, Red Hawks and Desert Hawks.

The names were widely panned on social media and shortly after, Red Hawks and Desert Hawks had seemingly flown the coop, while Nighthawks remained in the mix, but only as a backup choice according to team owner Bill Foley.

Over the weekend, Rasmussen continued his super-sleuthing and found that Las Vegas had trademarked three variants of Knight-related names: Desert Knights, Golden Knights, and the long-known about Silver Knights. Silver Knights became a favored compromise choice of sorts among area fans and press after Foley revealed his original choice, Black Knights, wasn’t going to happen due to trademark issues with the U.S. government, and that his secondary choice of Knights was out thanks to the OHL’s London Knights. Nevada is the silver state, by the way... hence Silver Knights.

All three names were trademarked with the city name listed as Las Vegas and simply Vegas, a somewhat interesting twist. Maybe the thinking is something like Vegas Desert Knights rolls off the tongue a little easier than Las Vegas Desert Knights.

In addition to those three trademarked names, additional digging by Rasmussen revealed another Knight variant: Sand Knights. This name, however, was either not trademarked, or the trademark hasn’t become publicly accessible as of yet; only a domain name was publicly registered to Foley’s Black Knight IP Holdings, LLC.

I’d say as of right now, the front-runner among the name choices would be Desert Knights. It is the only one of the names that has a domain name that is owned by Foley’s group and has been trademarked. None of the other names have both factors accounted for.

As I mentioned, Silver Knights and Golden Knights have been trademarked, but squatters are sitting on the best domain names for those two choices; meaning a financial arrangement would need to be arrived at. That’s certainly do-able, but one would think with time starting to become of the essence, the totally vetted Desert Knights would be the way to go.

As a personal aside, while I’m not that big on any of these Knight variants, Desert Knights is a little better than the very collegiate-sounding Golden or Silver Knights and much better than Sand Knights, which is a bit weird at first blush.

It’s interesting that instead of narrowing things down, more name choices are emerging as the process goes on. The time for making the name official has to be drawing near. The team has stated on numerous occasions that it would like to have merchandise available for sale before the Los Angeles Kings face the Dallas Stars on October 7, in an exhibition game at the new T-Mobile Arena, so we could have a final answer soon.