Final Thoughts on the Seattle Kraken

The National Hockey League’s newest franchise (finally) announced its name today: The Seattle Kraken.

I’m not going to lie, I don’t like the name.  The logos and jersey are fantastic.  Much like Minnesota Wild, it’s a name saved by the imagery created for it.

And with it announced, my 30-month search for the team’s identity is done.

The idea that the team might be called the Seattle Kraken first came to light in January 2018, when I reported that Oak View Group had registered 38 domain names related to 13 team names.  In the time since then I went from nearly certain the team would be the Sockeyes to absolutely certain it would be the Kraken, and that their American Hockey League affiliate would be the Palm Springs Firebirds.

Which is why a some comments from the team today are interesting to me.

ESPN’s Emily Kaplan noted the following in her deep-dive into the Kraken identity:

Seattle NHL filed three trademarks — Kraken, Sockeyes and Breakers — and registered five domain names — Kraken Hockey, Sockeyes Hockey, Evergreen Hockey, Renegades and Seattle Renegades.com — so they could use some as decoys. The team also worked with a company in Hawai’i to do some registration and consulted with a firm in London to deflect attention.

The final trademark was approved exactly a week ago, at which point they were ready to go full steam ahead.

Except, as noted above, there were at least 38 initial domains for 13 team names.  Additionally, there are no trademark registrations currently visible in the USPTO database.

The Athletic’s Ryan S. Clark also looked into “how did Seattle keep the secret?

Nic Corbett, the director of NHL relations for Adidas, said the entire design process took almost two years. The Portland-based company would travel by car, plane or rail to the team’s offices in Seattle, while also traveling to Los Angeles where the Kraken’s ownership group is based, being extremely mindful of their circumstances and surroundings. It meant looking around to make sure nobody could hear what was said or waiting until they were in a more private place to go into more details. They were checking their airplane and train seats as a way of ensuring nothing was left behind in order to keep the Kraken’s secret.

I buy this level of operational security a lot more than I accept the cloak and dagger domain and trademark registration efforts as a reason for the lack of a concrete leak.

The reason I look at domains and trademarks when trying to determine possible team names is because they’re the areas outside of the team’s control.  There are, of course, ways to hide them, some of which are better than others.  It’s odd to me to see the Seattle organization patting themselves on the back for the subterfuge around domains and trademarks when that had no impact on keeping the secret.

The initial Seattle Kraken-related domain was registered with Oak View Group’s name attached to it.  There was no secrecy.  Filings from Hawai’i didn’t detract from that.  Trademarks meant to distract weren’t even made public, defeating the purpose entirely.

Even if those trademarks had become public, it only would have served to narrow down the name to Kraken or Sockeyes, as those are the only names that appear on both the domain and trademark lists.

In the two years that the identity was being worked on, the only thing that drew attention away from the name possibly being Seattle Kraken was that Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times went on the radio and said he was told Kraken was out of the running.

So, sure, give the organization credit for locking things down between them and adidas.  Just remember that the only thing that actually took attention away from their chosen name was someone lying to a beat writer about it.

AHL Palm Springs Update: Firebirds Back in Play

With the American Hockey League’s Henderson Silver Knights officially unveiling their name and logo last week and no announcement in sight for the National Hockey League’s Seattle expansion franchise (though I’d be shocked if it wasn’t some form of “Seattle Kraken” at this point), I decided to dig a little further into Seattle’s farm team in Palm Springs, CA, and see if there was anything new.

Somewhat surprisingly, there was, with “Palm Springs Firebirds” having been saved from the trademark trash heap.

After a flurry of domain registrations and trademark filings last August, Firebirds seemed like the front-runner for the new AHL team’s name, over options such as Eagles, Hawks, Sun, Dragons, and Falcons.  The team’s temporary web site ran with the slogan “We’ve got the fire, now bring on the ice.”

However, on November 12, 2019, the trademark filing for Palm Springs Firebirds was rejected by the US Patent and Trademark Office, due to the name’s similarity to that of the Ontario Hockey League’s Flint Firebirds.  Overnight, the slogan became “We’ve got the heat, now bring on the ice,” and the team’s direction seemed to have changed.  The trademark for Palm Springs Hawks was abandoned but the remaining four all made it through the registration process (though, in a league with the Colorado Eagles, Palm Springs Eagles would never actually be an option).

On May 11, 2020, one day before the six month limit on responding to the rejection of their Firebirds application, the Palm Springs organization did file a response.  Included was permission from the Flint Firebirds to use the name.  This update was accepted by the USPTO a day later and approved to be published for opposition (the final step in a trademark filing and likely a rubber stamp with the Flint Firebirds on board) on June 2.

With Firebirds an option once again, and given the effort that went into making it such, I think we might just be seeing the Palm Springs Firebirds in the AHL’s 2021-22 season.

More Seattle Domain Updates: Seattle Kraken HC?

I was talking with a friend about the new NHL Seattle team earlier today, grumbling about how, given how many times the name announcement has been delayed, at this rate the team would launch as “Seattle HC,” short for Hockey Club.

After a minute, though, my friend suggested that the “HC” suffix might not be as ridiculous as it was meant to be.  Seattle’s MLS entry is Seattle Sounders FC, after all, though MLS features many teams with “European-style” names that include “FC” or “SC.”  Nonetheless, it seemed like it was worth a look, and something interesting did come up.

SeattleKrakenHC.com was registered privately on November 26, 2019.  While we can’t see who owns it, we can see that it was updated last week, at 5:47 PM (UTC) on February 20, 2020.

That date stuck out to me because it’s the same time that several of the domains confirmed to be owned by the Seattle NHL ownership group were updated.

Those updates were confusing at the time because the names that were updated didn’t seem to match any kind of pattern.  While there is still no apparent pattern, the timing does seem to imply that SeattleKrakenHC.com is also owned by Seattle Hockey Partners, having been updated in a batch with the others.

Given the existence of this domain and the rumors already present about the Kraken team name, we may be looking at the team’s official name being “Seattle Kraken HC.”

It’s worth noting that, of the 13 team names from their original list of domains in 2018, the only other one represented by a domain in the form of SeattleTeamnameHC.com is the Sockeyes.  However, that domain was registered a week after SeattleKrakenHC.com and was not updated on February 20th.  That doesn’t mean the domain is not owned by Seattle Hockey Partners, just that there’s no visible tie there.

It’s also worth noting that the organization does not seem to currently own SeattleKraken.com, though it’s always possible that they’ve reached a deal to acquire that domain.  Naming the team Seattle Kraken HC could help them get around the need for it.

Speculation on NHL Seattle’s Final Five Names: Cougars, Emeralds, Rainiers, Sea Lions, Sockeyes?

Two years ago we got a first look at what names might be considered for the NHL’s Seattle expansion franchise when a set of domain registrations were made by lawyers working on behalf of Oak View Group, the team’s owners.

Since then, things have been relatively quiet on the team name front.

In July, Seattle Times NHL beat writer Geoff Baker stated that the team was down to four names in an interview on Sportsnet 590, specifically ruling out fan favorites Seattle Kraken and Seattle Totems.  Oak View Group spent some time in August pursuing names for their American Hockey League team in Palm Springs (later having one of those trademark applications denied).  Then, in October, the organization placed a list of their final five names in a time capsule at Seattle’s Space Needle without making that list public.

Now, I believe it’s possible to look back at the original set of domains and cut the list of probable team names down from 13 to the following five:

Seattle Cougars
Seattle Emeralds
Seattle Rainiers
Seattle Sea Lions
Seattle Sockeyes

To get the above list, I’m admittedly working off of a set of assumptions.  These assumptions may or may not be safe to make.

First off, I’m using only the original list of names from January 2018.  I’ve been monitoring domain registrations since then and nothing jumped out at me as related to the new team but it’s always possible that I missed something.

It’s also possible that they’ve added a name to their list that wasn’t in the original set, regardless of domain ownership.  I’m assuming they haven’t.  This might be the biggest reach, especially as Seattle Steelheads has been showing up in some online polls while seemingly nothing indicates that OVG has made a move to secure that name.  Baker specifically ruled out Steelheads in a mailbag column last week but, nonetheless, that doesn’t mean another name hasn’t entered contention.

I’m taking quality of domain name into account, with the best domain name being one in the form of SeattleTeamname.com, with no extra words or characters.  So seattlefirebirds.com is better than seattle-firebirds.com, for example.  This is subjective so it’s possible that the team is okay with something like SeattleTeamnameHockey.com.

Finally, I’m working off the assumption that the organization would only let one of their domains expire if they had either decided against the team name it represented or if they had found (or determined they could acquire) a better domain name for that team name.  OVG wouldn’t spend over half a billion dollars on an expansion franchise and then accidentally not renew their $13 domain if that domain actually mattered to them going forward.

Taking all of that into consideration…

The 38 domain names from January 2018 were each registered for a two year period.  On Saturday, for a few hours, they all expired.

It should be noted that, relatively quickly after expiration, all of the domains were renewed.  The fact that OVG let them expire in the first place, however, leads me to believe that the domains aren’t the important piece of property that they might have been two years ago.

With those assumptions in place, we can eliminate the six team names that OVG already had domains in the form of SeattleTeamname.com registered for, adding them to the two that Baker previously stated were no longer options.

Domains in the form of SeattleTeamname.com are already registered for all five of the remaining names.  All of the registrations pre-date OVG’s set of registrations two years ago.  None of them are confirmed to have been registered by Oak View Group, though private domain registration makes it impossible to know for certain.

Of the remaining five, seattlesockeyes.com and seattlesealions.com are registered publicly.

Jeff Gibb – owner of seattlesockeyes.com, a lifelong hockey player and fan, and son of former Detroit Red Wings draft pick Ken Gibb – registered the name following a Seattle adult league hockey game in 2012. “[M]y friend Chris and I thought it would be the perfect name for an NHL team.” he noted via email, adding that, while he has received offers to buy the domain, “None of these offers (to my knowledge) have been in a official capacity from the NHL or the Seattle ownership group, and most seem to come in after press picks up the name as a favorite.”

Meanwhile seattlesealions.com was originally purchased for another Seattle sports team, the rugby side that would become the Seattle Seawolves of Major League Rugby.  Seawolves owner Shane Skinner revealed that he simply held onto the domain even after choosing not to use that name for his team.

While this makes it clear that OVG does not own either of those domains, the fact that neither domain owner would rule out the possibility of making a deal for them in the future means both names should be considered available.

“To me, I’ve always considered my ownership of it as a way to ‘save’ the name for the team if they choose it down the line,” Gibb said.

It’s also worth noting that these are the five that my set of assumptions can’t eliminate.  We know there was a list of five in October.  Along with the possibility of new names being added to the list, it’s entirely possible that some of these have been removed from contention since then.


Of course, domain registrations aren’t the only way to see what names a team might be considering.

Social media is much less reliable method, given the ease of setting up a Twitter or Instagram account.  That said, there are some interesting Facebook pages out there that might show a little more of what Oak View Group is planning.

Most NHL teams tend to use Facebook groups with a name in the form of LocationTeamname, NHLTeamname, TeamnameNHL, or TeamnameHockey.  With the five team names from above, that gives us 20 possible combinations to check.

Most of those aren’t assigned to anyone.  Some are legitimate groups unrelated to Seattle’s NHL franchise.  Two, however, are private pages, which would be a good way for an organization to reserve a Facebook page name without opening themselves up to communication from fans before they’re ready.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that’s what’s happening here.

Those two names are the Seattle Sea Lions and Seattle Sockeyes.


As noted above, one of Oak View Group’s trademark applications for their AHL affiliate in Palm Springs was denied in December, with the US Patent and Trademark Office determining that “Palm Springs Firebirds” (which I believed to be their top choice) infringed upon the trademark of the OHL’s Flint Firebirds. Interestingly, “Palm Springs Eagles” was accepted and is currently published for opposition, despite a trademark in place for the Colorado Eagles of the AHL.

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.

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.

NHL to Portland? Domain Registrations Hint at It

There are a handful of cities that often pop up in rumors regarding NHL relocation or expansion.

Quebec is one, with their recent expansion bid partially hindered by the NHL’s geographic imbalance.  Seattle is going through the expansion process right now and is expected to be awarded the league’s 32nd franchise.  Houston, with a new owner for the NBA’s Rockets who is receptive to an additional tenant at Toyota Center, has jumped into the discussion of late.

And then there’s Portland, Oregon.

Portland, home of the Western Hockey League’s Winterhawks, has sniffed at the NHL twice in recent memory.

In the late 1990s, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen – owner of the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers -, backed out of an expansion bid in the round that led to new NHL teams in Nashville, Atlanta, Columbus, and Minnesota.

Just a few years ago, the Arizona Coyotes were rumored to be eyeing the Allen-controlled Moda Center as a landing spot as their (still ongoing) arena issues in Glendale seemed to be coming to a head.

Through spokespeople, Allen has stated that he has no interest in pursuing an expansion franchise for Portland.  However, if one became available for relocation, he would have interest.  Additionally, Winterhawks owner Bill Gallacher has indicated interest in NHL ownership.

Which brings us to a batch of ten internet domain names registered on Thursday by the Portland Winterhawks.

Four of them seem relatively benign.  You could make the case that hockeytownpdx.com, portlandhockeytown.com, playhockeyoregon.com, playhockeyportland.com could all be used in relation to the Winterhawks or other community initiatives (though the Detroit Red Wings might have something to say about a couple of those).

A fifth – hockeytoportland.com – would look innocent coming from anyone other than the Winterhawks, as they’ve already brought hockey to Portland.

The final five, however, explicitly state what kind of hockey would be coming to the Rose City:

pdxnhl.com
nhltopdx.com
nhl2portland.com
nhlinportland.com
nhltoportland.com

That’s five domains making reference to the National Hockey League coming to Portland, all registered by the Portland Winterhawks.

This is hardly confirmation of something coming.  As the Winterhawks do not control Moda Center, this would look a lot more convincing if the domains had been registered by someone affiliated with Paul Allen’s group.

That said, the Coyotes’ arena issues are still unresolved, the Calgary Flames have threatened to move without a new arena, Allen is interested in a relocated NHL team, and now we have domain registrations tied to Portland’s existing team – whose owner is from Calgary and who is already a tenant at Allen’s arena.

It could be nothing.  Or it could be a sign of the NHL’s next franchise move.

Vegas Team Name Speculation: Baseball Edition

Note: This is a non-hockey post but ties into the work I did looking into possible names for the team that became the Vegas Golden Knights and the NHL’s probable future Seattle franchise, so I’m publishing it here anyway.

The Las Vegas 51s of Minor League Baseball’s Pacific Coast League are adopting a new name next season to coincide with their move into a new stadium.

I hadn’t been paying much attention to this as I’m not much of a baseball fan, especially not of minor league teams on the other side of the country and not affiliated with any of my local teams.  The tools that I developed while attempting to determine the name of the eventual Vegas Golden Knights and Seattle’s seemingly-inevitable expansion team are still running, still focused on Las Vegas, and hit on something interesting today.

Yesterday, June 6, a lawyer with The Howard Hughes Corporation – owners of the 51s and their new ballpark in Summerlin, NV –  registered a total of sixteen domains related to the Las Vegas Aviators.

Additionally, a related Twitter handle – @lvaviators – shows as having been registered in June of 2018.  That account has yet to Tweet or update their profile but has a name of “Las Vegas Aviators.”  Ownership of the handle cannot be confirmed.

If this is indeed the team’s future identity, the name Aviators would tie in to Howard Hughes himself and the pilots at nearby Nellis Air Force Base.

As far as I can tell, The Howard Hughes Corporation has not registered any other baseball-related domains.

The full list of Aviators-related domains is as follows:

aviatorsdowntownsummerlin.com
aviatorslasvegas.com
aviatorslv.com
aviatorsnevada.com
aviatorssummerlin.com
downtownsummerlinaviators.com
lasvegasaviatorsbaseball.com
nevadaaviators.com
summerlinaviators.com
thedowntownsummerlinaviators.com
thelasvegasaviators.com
thelvaviators.com
thenevadaaviators.com
thesummerlinaviators.com
vegasaviators.com
vegasaviatorsbaseball.com


Update, 6/10 1:30 PM: It would appear that there is a Facebook account for this new team name, too, as @TheLasVegasAviators is classified as a “Sports Team.”  There’s also an Instagram user with the name “lasvegasaviators.” Of course, this could be someone not affiliated with the team.


Update, 6/11 2:00 PM: After SportsLogos.Net picked up our story, I was inspired to give the USPTO database another check.  It turns out that a ton of trademarks for Las Vegas Aviators were registered on June 6, the same day as the domains were acquired.  The trademark database usually takes a few days to update, so it’s not a surprise that we didn’t see this sooner.

A list of Las Vegas Aviators-related trademarks filed on June 6.

Possible Seattle NHL Team Names: Evergreens? Kraken?

Seattle doesn’t even have a National Hockey League team yet – they were invited to apply for an expansion franchise on December 7 – but that hasn’t stopped speculation on what the league’s 32nd team might be named.

As I did before the Vegas Golden Knights’ name was announced, I’ve been keeping an eye on domain registrations.  Most of the names that have come up over the last several weeks have been purchased by people who are known domain speculators, meaning they don’t tell us much about the direction any future ownership group might be heading.  Yesterday, however, an interesting batch of domains were registered.

By my count, 38 domains representing 13 different possible names were registered under the name of Christina Song.  Ms. Song, according to her LinkedIn profile, is General Counsel at Oak View Group, who won the bid to redevelop Seattle’s Key Arena on December 4.  The domains were registered via an email address for a lawyer at Gibson Dunn.  That firm assisted Oak View Group in the Key Arena bid process.

Does this mean that one of the 13 names is certain to take the ice for the NHL’s 2020-21 season?  No.  The franchise hasn’t even been applied for yet.  The ownership group hasn’t even been formed (though names that might be involved have been tossed around).  There is the distinct possibility that this is nothing.

That said, someone so close to the process applying for so many related domains is worth noting.  As such, here are the 13 possibilities:

Seattle Cougars
Seattle Eagles
Seattle Emeralds
Seattle Evergreens
Seattle Firebirds
Seattle Kraken
Seattle Rainiers
Seattle Renegades
Seattle Sea Lions
Seattle Seals
Seattle Sockeyes
Seattle Totems
Seattle Whales

It’s an interesting list with a lot of nicknames we’ve seen before.

The Seattle Totems were a WHL and CHL team that expected to jump to the NHL in 1976 but failed due to ownership issues.  The Seattle Rainiers, meanwhile, were a minor league baseball team that ceased operations to make room for the Seattle Mariners.

Seals was previously used for the NHL’s failed Oakland franchise, while Eagles was the name the original Ottawa Senators went by when they relocated to St. Louis for their final season.  Cougars was the original name of the Detroit Red Wings franchise, chosen in honor of the Victoria Cougars, from whom much of their roster was purchased.

Additionally, Firebirds is currently used by the OHL’s Flint team.  Last year we saw the Vegas organization claim that the OHL’s London Knights blocked them from being the “Las Vegas Knights” (a name that they later conceded was never really an option), so the recent history of a potential NHL team using an OHL name is messy.

All of that said, registering this block of domains would cost about $400, so it’s not exactly breaking the bank for a group that’s investing $600 million renovating an arena.  They could do this just to keep their options open.  It is curious, though.


Update, 4:15 PM: There’s been an interesting twist in this story, as sometime after I checked the Whois records – which show domain ownership, among other things – for the 38 domains, they were all switched to proxy registrations, removing the true registrant from the record.

For the record, both of my rounds of Whois checks (this morning around 8:30 AM  and this afternoon) were through the ICANN website.  All of the domains show as having been registered yesterday for two years.

The following is the full list of 38 domains:

seattle-cougars.com
seattlecougarshockey.com
seattleeagles.com
seattle-eagles.com
seattleeagleshockey.com
emeraldshockey.com
seattle-emeralds.com
seattleemeraldshockey.com
evergreenshockey.com
seattleevergreens.com
seattle-evergreens.com
seattleevergreenshockey.com
firebirdshockey.com
seattlefirebirds.com
seattle-firebirds.com
seattlefirebirdshockey.com
seattle-kraken.com
seattlekrakenhockey.com
rainiershockey.com
seattle-rainiers.com
seattlerainiershockey.com
seattlerenegades.com
seattle-renegades.com
seattlerenegadeshockey.com
sealionshockey.com
seattle-sealions.com
seattle-sea-lions.com
seattlesealionshockey.com
seattleseals.com
seattle-seals.com
seattlesealshockey.com
seattle-sockeyes.com
seattlesockeyeshockey.com
seattle-totems.com
whaleshockey.com
seattlewhales.com
seattle-whales.com
seattlewhaleshockey.com


Update, 1/20/2018 9:10 AM: Has a new contender emerged?  It’s an extremely tenuous connection so take it with a grain of salt, but on Friday domains related to the name “Seattle Sasquatch” were registered.

The domains were registered privately through GoDaddy, as all of Thursday’s domains now are.  They were registered for two years, like the original batch of domains.  They also fit the naming convention of the original batch, seattlesasquatchhockey.com and seattle-sasquatch.com.

This could very easily be a domain speculator following the format we published yesterday, so it’s probably nothing.  It’s just similar enough to the original set, though, that I thought it was worth a mention.

In all likelihood, any future domain registrations from this organization will be private, so we won’t be able to definitively tell anything from them.  We’ll keep looking, though.