Even More Possible Palm Springs AHL Names: Sun, Dragons, Falcons

For the third time in the last week, possible names for the potential Palm Springs American Hockey League franchise have been revealed.  This time they are the Palm Springs Sun, Palm Springs Dragons, and Palm Springs Falcons.

Like the Palm Springs Eagles and Palm Springs Hawks yesterday and the Palm Springs Firebirds last Wednesday, these new names come via trademark applications filed on behalf of Oak View Group.

OVG will own the new AHL team as well as their still-nameless National Hockey League affiliate in Seattle.  Both teams are expected to begin play in the 2021-22 season.

This latest batch of trademarks was filed on August 15.  There is typically a delay between when a trademark is applied for and when that application is made public.

In addition to the trademark applications, the domain palmspringsfalcons.com was registered privately on Monday.  It appears that no Sun- or Dragons-related domains were registered.

The following is a timeline of Palm Springs AHL-related events and announcements thus far:

February 5, 2019
OVG advisor Dave Tippet announces that Boise, ID, and Palm Springs, CA, are being looked at as potential AHL affiliates for Seattle.

April 1, 2019
palmspringsfirebirds.com registered privately via GoDaddy, the same registrar as was used for Seattle-related domains in 2018.

June 26, 2019
OVG and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians announce that they will partner on a new arena in Palm Springs, CA, to house Seattle’s AHL affiliate.

August 9, 2019
OVG lawyers file for a trademark on the name “Palm Springs Firebirds.”

August 14, 2019
DetroitHockey.Net breaks the story of the Firebirds trademark application.

Kate Anderson, Director of Public Relations for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, tells KESQ that trademark applications for other names can be expected in the near future.

OVG files trademark applications for Palm Springs Eagles and Palm Springs Hawks

August 15, 2019
OVG files trademark applications for Palm Springs Sun, Palm Springs Dragons, and Palm Springs Falcons.

August 17, 2019
palmspringseagles.com and palmspringshawks.com are registered privately via Dynadot.

August 19, 2019
palmspringsfalcons.com is registered privately via Dynadot.


There are two curious things about that timeline.

One is the gap between trademark applications.  This can be explained in several ways – either OVG is filing for trademarks as they come up with names, or the trademark application for Firebirds becoming public inspired the additional trademark applications.  A third, less-likely, option would be that all of the potential names were known on August 9 and OVG’s lawyers chose not to file applications for them all at once.

The second is that, as of August 17, when the Eagles- and Hawks-related domains were acquired, the Falcons trademark was already applied for as well.  As such, why wait two more days to purchase a Falcons-related domain?

With those two items in mind, it’s safe to assume that this newest batch of names could be further misdirection by OVG.  Someone had the Firebirds-related domain in April and OVG didn’t start applying for trademarks on other names until after the Firebirds trademark became public.

Of course, it’s also safe to assume that OVG is simply filing for trademarks and domains as they go, and truly no decision has been made yet.  With the team not slated to take the ice until 2021, they have plenty of time to change course.

More AHL Palm Springs Trademarks Filed: Eagles, Hawks

After our initial report that Oak View Group had filed for a trademark on “Palm Springs Firebirds” for use with their pending American Hockey League Franchise, two more applications for trademarks have been filed: Eagles and Hawks.

In addition to the trademarks – filed on August 14 by the same lawyer who handled the Firebirds trademark – domains related Palm Springs Eagles and Palm Springs Hawks were registered on Saturday.  The domains were registered privately so it’s possible that they were not registered by OVG.

Seemingly no domains were registered for the Palm Springs Firebirds name.

In response to the Firebirds trademark application, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians – OVG’s partner in building a new arena in Palm Springs – had stated that more trademark applications would be forthcoming.

Like Firebirds, Eagles is one of the names that was under consideration for Oak View Group’s Seattle NHL franchise, which has yet to be named.  Also like Firebirds, Eagles is a name in use in the Canadian Hockey League.  While Firebirds is used by the OHL’s Flint team, Eagles is the new name of the QMJHL’s former Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

Additionally, the AHL’s newest franchise is the Colorado Eagles, so it’s safe to say that the Palm Springs Eagles won’t see the light of day.

The Hawks name was last used in the AHL by the Moncton Hawks, who folded in 1994.  It is also a nickname of the Chicago Blackhawks.  Interestingly, three Hawks-related named were considered for the NHL expansion franchise that became the Vegas Golden Knights.

With these points in mind, it’s possible that the Eagles and Hawks trademark applications are intended to be misdirection.  If, for example, Firebirds had already been chosen as the team name, adding Eagles and Hawks to the rumor mill would allow for a bird-themed logo to be developed without confirming which name had been chosen.

It’s also worth noting that the Eagles and Hawks trademark applications and domain registrations happened after our initial report on the Firebirds trademark, which could be a coincidence or could be cause for further skepticism regarding these new options.

Red Wings Add Forward Erne in Trade with Tampa

The Detroit Red Wings announced the acquisition of forward Adam Erne from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, in return for a fourth-round draft pick in 2020.

Erne, 24, was selected by the Lightning in the second round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.  Current Detroit general manager Steve Yzerman was Tampa Bay’s GM for that draft.

In 114 NHL games, Erne has scored 13 goals and added 14 assists.  Seven of those goals and 13 of the assists came in 65 games played during the 2018-19 campaign.

Erne is currently an unsigned restricted free agent, though it’s unlikely that the Red Wings would have made this trade if a signing isn’t soon to follow.

The Red Wings did not have any extra fourth round picks in 2020 but they do have Washington’s second round pick and San Jose’s third-round pick.  They now own eight total selections in that draft.

AHL Expansion: Palm Springs Firebirds?

The American Hockey League will be expanding alongside the NHL for the 2021-22 season and we may have our first indication of the new team’s name: The Palm Springs Firebirds.

A trademark was filed last week for that name on behalf of Oak View Group, the company that will own both the AHL franchise and their currently-unnamed NHL affiliate in Seattle.

Oak View Group had previously announced that they would be building a new arena in Palm Springs, CA, to house their AHL team.

The trademark filing was made by a lawyer with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which was the same firm that registered domains for possible Seattle team names on behalf of Oak View Group back in January of 2018.  “Firebirds” was one of thirteen nicknames seemingly under consideration at that time, so there is an additional connection between this filing and that list.

It’s worth noting that during the NHL’s previous expansion process, the Las Vegas organization registered trademarks on several names, so this filing may be only the first of many.

Also of note is the fact that the Ontario Hockey League currently fields the Flint Firebirds.

Finally, the timing of this filing is somewhat interesting as no marks for the Seattle NHL team have been filed.  Prioritizing the branding of the AHL team over the NHL team would be somewhat surprising, though it could simply be a matter of the AHL team name being an easier choice.

That said, the fact that this trademark was filed for at all shows that that Palm Spring Firebirds is a strong enough contender for the team’s name that Oak View Group felt they needed to protect it.