On Las Vegas’ NHL Team Name: Nighthawks?


I was chatting this morning with SportsLogos.Net founder Chris Creamer, spit-balling ideas about the name of the NHL’s Las Vegas expansion franchise, when I stumbled onto something interesting.

On Tuesday, team owner Bill Foley was on Sportsbook Radio and SI (among others) picked it up.

But the name is going to have … Knights somewhere in some fashion, some way. Or, there’s one particular animal, a bird, that we have available to us that we might use.

I ignored it when it first came across my Twitter feed.  Frankly, I didn’t care that much.  This morning, though, I started thinking about it and ran down Wikipedia’s list of birds native to Nevada.

Some of names just don’t make any sense for a hockey team to use.  The Las Vegas Trumpeter Swans?  Las Vegas Wood Storks?  No thanks.

Las Vegas Goldeneyes?  Maybe in the 1990s (looking at you, Toronto Raptors).  Las Vegas Canvasbacks?  Hrm.

Las Vegas Nighthawks?

That’s a little too perfect.  A bird native to the state.  The nickname of the F-117, which was tested at nearby Nellis Air Force Base.  A word for a person up late at night, something Las Vegas is known for.

So I checked to see if the domain lasvegasnighthawks.com was available, thinking that I might squat on it if it was, just in case.  It turned out that it wasn’t available.  In fact, it was registered to Black Knight IP Holding Company, LLC, one of the many realms of Foley’s empire.

Domains aren’t any kind of be-all, end-all – anyone can register one for whatever reason – but it does seem to show that Foley’s organization was thinking about Nighthawks.  Creamer’s further research found a small handful of other names that the team might have been considering.  It seems as though no trademarks have been filed, so they can always switch direction.

That said…  Foley said a bird that also includes (k)night in its name?  Nighthawks seems to be a perfect fit.

Update, 10:45 PM: I was on KLAS in Las Vegas tonight to talk about this.  They confirmed that Nighthawks, Red Hawks, and Desert Hawks have all been trademarked and that two other names are pending.

Update, 8/12/2016 – 3:45 PM: I’ve already discussed this on Twitter but, for the sake of completeness, I figured I’d circle back to this post.

For whatever reason, it would appear the names we found are now off the table.


Clark founded the site that would become DetroitHockey.Net in September of 1996. He continues to write for the site and executes the site's design and development, as well as that of DH.N's sibling site, FantasyHockeySim.com.

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