Utah Is Getting an NHL Team

But new owners don't have a name for the former Arizona Coyotes yet
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2024 8:03 AM CDT
Utah Is Getting an NHL Team
"As everyone knows, Utah is a vibrant and thriving state, and we are thrilled to be a part of it,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.   (Getty Images/FotografieLink)

Utah now has an NHL team—but it only has half a name. The league's board of governors has unanimously approved the sale of the Arizona Coyotes and the team will move to Salt Lake City for the 2024-25 season, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The franchise was bought by Smith Entertainment Group, led by Utah Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith. A new name hasn't been chosen yet, but Ryan Smith says it will definitely include Utah. "We'll start with Utah on the jersey and we'll figure out the logo and everything else and what it is that we are," he tells the AP. "We're going to be Utah either way. We have the first part of the name. We don't have the last."

Five possible names for the franchise were sent to the US Patent and Trademark Office earlier this week, reports KSL Sports. They are Utah Blizzard, Utah Venom, Utah Fury, and, more generically, Utah HC and Utah Hockey Club. Ryan Smith has also suggested Utah Yeti. It's not clear who submitted the five applications, but all of them except Utah Blizzard were made by the same person. Ryan Smith says his main priority is getting the players and staff set up in Utah and moving "full speed ahead" with infrastructure. He says more than 11,000 season ticket deposits were received in four hours after the sale was announced.

Hockey fan Braden Clark tells the Tribune that he was initially skeptical about Utah getting an NHL team and is now "ecstatic." He says he prefers the Blizzard name, because it "keeps with the double Z mantra that we've had here in the state for a very long time with obviously the Jazz, the Buzz, the Grizzlies, those kinds of teams." The Coyotes started out as the Winnipeg Jets. They moved to Phoenix in 1996 and were called the Phoenix Coyotes until 2014. Under the terms of the deal, former owner Alex Meruelo will keep the Coyotes name, the AP reports. If he can find a new stadium within five years, the NHL will let him reactivate the franchise. (More NHL stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.