Pro Hockey Nicknames

Professional Hockey Team nicknames
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
 
Anaheim Ducks
Since 1993, named from the famous "Mighty Ducks" Disney Movie, owned by Disney, and Disney World located there.  Changed name from "Mighty Ducks" to "Ducks" in 2006 after Disney sold the team.  Mascot: Wildwing. Wild Wing is the #8 Best Mascot per AskMen.com 2008 survey



Atlanta Thrashers
Since 1999, named after the Brown Thrasher, the state bird of Georgia,  Mascot: Thrash.



Boston Bruins
Since 1924, named in a contest.  The name Bruins was chosen in a contest, under the following guidelines:  "The name chosen should preferably relate to an untamed animal whose name was synonymous with size, strength, agility, ferocity, and cunning;  and in the color brown category."
The owners wanted the new team to have brown and yellow team colors to match his stores as well as a name equated with strength and power.  Mascot: Blades the Bruin  The #14 Best North American Professional Sports Logo of the 20th Century per 2005 survey by Section 219/Classic Sports Logos.



Buffalo Sabres
Since 1970, named in a contest, with the owners looking for a new name, other than a buffalo/bison variation.  Mascot: Sabretooth the Tiger.  #13 Sports Brand of all Pro Teams-- 2008 Turnkey Team Brand Index

Calgary Flames
Originally located in Atlanta from 1972-1980, also called "Hot Lanta" for the historic burning of Atlanta during the Civil War.  Then, as the team moved to frozen lands of Calgary, Alberta, in 1980, the name took on a new meaning from the 1988 Calgary Olympics Flames.  WHA team name: Cowboys 1975-1977.  Mascot: Harvey the Hound.  Harvey the Hound is the #2 Best Mascot per AskMen.com 2008 survey



Carolina Hurricanes
Named for the hurricanes that often hit the Carolinas.  Started as the Hartford Whalers in the WHA in 1972, then NHL in 1979.  Moved to North Carolina in 1997.  Mascot: Stormy the Ice Hog.  #20 Sports Brand of all Pro Teams-- 2008 Turnkey Team Brand Index

 
Chicago Blackhawks
Since 1926, named for the Army Regiment of the owner and the historical, Chief Black Hawk. In 1986 Black Hawks changed to Blackhawks.  WHA team name: Cougars 1972-1975.  Mascot: Tommyhawk The #11 Best North American Professional Sports Logo of the 20th Century per 2005 survey by Section 219/Classic Sports Logos.



Colorado Avalanche
Named for the snow avalanches that come out of the Colorado Mountains.  Started in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques, moved to Colorado in 1995. 
Other nicknames: Rockies 1976-1982, Denver Spurs 1975-1976. Other names considered: Extreme, Black Bears, Outlaws, Storm, Wranglers, Renegades, Rapids and Cougars.  Mascot: Howler the Abominable Snowman.



Columbus Blue Jackets
Since 2000, the name is based on Ohio's pride and patriotism during the Civil War as both the state of Ohio and the city of Columbus were significantly influential on the Union Army.  Ohio contributed more of its population to the Union Army than any other state, while many of the uniforms worn by the Union soldiers were manufactured in Columbus.  Mascot: Stinger



Dallas Stars
From 1967-1993 in Bloomington, MN as the Minnesota North Stars, moved to Dallas in 1993, as the Stars since they were in the "Lone Star" State.  In 1978 the Cleveland Barons merge with the Minnesota North Stars and team remains in Minnesota.



Detroit Red Wings
Since 1926, originally the Cougars, (referring to their place of origin, the Victoria Cougars), changed to the Falcons in 1929, then changed to the Red Wings.  Team Owner James Norris had once played for a team in Montreal known as the Winged Wheelers and based on that, decided to name his new team the Red Wings with a winged wheel as the logo.  The logo is a natural fit for Detroit, also known as "The Motor City."  Mascot: Al the Octopus The #6 Best North American Professional Sports Logo of the 20th Century per 2005 survey by Section 219/Classic Sports Logos.  #6 Sports Brand of all Pro Teams-- 2008 Turnkey Team Brand Index

 
Edmonton Oilers
Since 1972, named for the once flourishing oil industry in Alberta, originally named the Alberta Oilers of the WHA.



Florida Panthers
Since 1993, named after the endangered species, the Florida Panthers in the State.  Mascot: Stanley C. Panther.



Los Angeles Kings
Since 1967, named from a contest.  The L.A. Monarchs played in the Pacific Coast Hockey League in the 1930's, so the owner adopted the same royal color scheme as the Lakers.  WHA team name: Sharks 1972-1974.  Mascot: Bailey (Lion)



Minnesota Wild
The Wild since 2000.  Other nicknames: North Stars 1967-1993, then moved to Dallas. Fighting Saints 1972-1976, New Fighting Saints 1976-1977.  Other names considered: Blue Ox, Northern Lights, Voyageurs (working class employees of fur trading companies during the 1700s) White Bears and Freeze.  Mascot: Nordy



Montreal Canadiens
Since 1909, named for the team location in Canada, and Canadiens is french for Canadians.  The team was born 8 years before the NHL began in 1917.   The "C" and "H" in the logo represent the name "Club de Hockey Canadien."  The club was originally known as Club Canadien.  Originally the team only had French Canadian players.  Other nicknames: Maroons in 1924-1938 and Wanderers 1917-1918. Mascot: Youppi The #9 Best North American Professional Sports Logo of the 20th Century per 2005 survey by Section 219/Classic Sports Logos.  #12 Sports Brand of all Pro Teams-- 2008 Turnkey Team Brand Index  Youppi is the #10 Best Mascot per AskMen.com 2008 survey



Nashville Predators
Since 1999. Named by the fans for the fang and bones of a saber-toothed tiger found in a cave just below the new hockey arena.  Mascot: Gnash.



New Jersey Devils
As legend has it, the "Jersey Devil" is a half-man, half-beast who has roamed New Jersey's Pine Barrens for over 250 years.  Started in Kansas City as the Scouts in 1974-1976.  Moved to Denver in 1976-1982 as the Colorado Rockies, then to East Rutherford, NJ as the Devils in 1982.  Other names considered over the Devils: Americans, Blades, Coastals, Colonials, Gulls, Jaguars, Meadowlanders, and Meadowlarks.   Other nicknames: Knights 1973-1974, Golden Blades 1973. Mascot: N. J. Devil



New York Rangers
Since 1926.
The team's first owner in 1926 was Madison Square Garden president G. L. "Tex" Rickard, and the team was knows as Tex Rickard's Rangers.  Fans and sportswriters referred to the new squad as "Tex's Rangers," and the name eventually stuck.  Other nicknames: Americans in 1925, renamed the Brooklyn Americans in 1941, and later fold in 1942.  Raiders 1972-1973 but renamed the Golden Blades in 1973 moved to New Jersey.  The #18 Best North American Professional Sports Logo of the 20th Century per 2005 survey by Section 219/Classic Sports Logos.



New York Islanders
Since 1972. The name came from a suggestion made by original co-owner Roy Boe's wife. Instead of naming the team the Long Islanders,  she suggested calling the team the New York Islanders in an effort to win over some unhappy New York Ranger fans.  Mascot: Sparky the Dragon #118 Sports Brand of all Pro Teams-- 2008 Turnkey Team Brand Index

Ottawa Senators
Since 1992, named for the Capital City of Canada, and where the Senate is located. The Senators received their name from an earlier NHL team located in Ottawa, Canada's capital city and home to the Canadian senate, from 1917 to 1934.  WHA team name: Senators 1917-1931 and 1932-1934, later St. Louis Eagles 1925-30, later Philadelphia Quakers for 1930-31.  Nationals 1972-1973, Civics 1976.  Mascot: Spartacat.



Philadelphia Flyers
Since 1967, named from a contest, with the winning entry from a kid, spelling it, Fliers, but the committee chose Flyers, because it went phonetically with Philadelphia.  WHA team name: Blazers 1972-1973 but moved to Vancouver.  The #19 Best North American Professional Sports Logo of the 20th Century per 2005 survey by Section 219/Classic Sports Logos.


Phoenix Coyotes
Named the Coyotes (common to the area) in a name-the-team contest.  Scorpions was the runner up.   Started in Winnipeg as the Jets in 1972, moved to Phoenix in 1996.  WHA team name: Roadrunners 1974-1977.  Mascot: Howler the Coyote



Pittsburgh Penguins
Since 1967, named in a contest, partly because the team is located in Northeastern PENsylvania.  The Penguins name was also after their home arena, the Civic Arena, nicknamed "The Igloo" because of its igloo shape.  Other nicknames: named the Pirates (after the same named Pirates baseball team and football teams in town in 1925, who move to Philadelphia in 1930 and become Quakers and fold in 1931.  Mascot: Iceburgh.  #8 Sports Brand of all Pro Teams-- 2008 Turnkey Team Brand Index

 
San Jose Sharks
Named in a contest. Several shark research facilities are in the area, and part of the Bay Area is known as Red Triangle, due to its shark population.  Seven species of sharks made their home in the stretch of the Pacific Ocean off the California coast called the Red Triangle.  Started in San Francisco 1991-1993, then to San Jose in 1993. Other names considered: Rubber Puckies, Screaming Squids, Salty Dogs and Blades.  Mascot: S. J. Sharkie.



St. Louis Blues
Since 1967, named from the owners inspiration from the famous song by W. C. Handy.  City famous for its "Blues" music heritage. Other names considered:  Mercury and Apollo since space capsules bearing those names were built in St. Louis.  Other nicknames: Eagles 1925-1930.  Mascot: Louie



Tampa Bay Lightning
Since 1992, named for the frequent lightning storms in the area, From 1992-93 in Tampa, FL, moved to St. Petersburg, FL in 1993.  Mascot: Thunderbug and Ladybug.



Toronto Mapleleafs
Since 1916, originally named the Arenas, renamed the St. Patricks in 1919 to draw the Irish fans. Then, in 1926, renamed by the owner Conn Smythe, from inspiration from an old Toronto team called the East Maple Leaves, and when Smythe bought the team, he changed it after the Maple Leaf Regiment of the First World War, and for the Maple Leaf on the Canadian Flag.  The original minor league baseball team in Toronto was the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1896 to 1967.   WHA team name: Toros 1973-1976, moved to Birmingham, AL.   Mascot: Carlton the Polar Bear.  The #16 Best North American Professional Sports Logo of the 20th Century per  2005 survey by Section 219/Classic Sports Logos.



Vancouver Canucks
Since 1970, named from a Canadian folk hero, Johnny Canuck, who was a great logger, was a skater and hockey player in his spare time. Canucks mean Canadian.  WHA team name: Blazers 1973-1975, moved to Calgary.  Mascot: Fin the Whale



Washington Capitals
Since 1974, named for The National "Capital" of the United States.  Mascot: Slapshot the Eagle.



If the league expands or a team moves....where is the BEST city for a new NHL team?
Top 10 Largest Cities without a NHL Team (as of 2007 population):

  1. Houston, TX
  2. San Antonio, TX
  3. San Diego, CA
  4. Jacksonville, FL
  5. Indianapolis, IN
  6. San Francisco, CA
  7. Austin, TX
  8. Memphis, TN
  9. Baltimore, MD
  10. El Paso, TX

National Hockey League Arenas

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