New name for Capitals' home puts it at top of list of best arena handles

For the second time since it opened in 1997, the Washington Capitals' home arena is changing names.

Verizon Center is Capital One Arena effective immediately, according to the Washington Post, with a "signage and branding makeover" coming this fall along with a separate $40 million investment from stadium owner Ted Leonsis.

With the switch, which marks the third identity for the Caps' current home since it debuted as MCI Center, the repeat Presidents' Trophy winners automatically shoot to the top of our list of the five best NHL arena names -- not venue qualities but names:

1. Capital One Arena

With the Verizon Center title out the window, this now serves as the best team-oriented name in the league.

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Verizon Center, a sea of red during the NHL season, is now known as Capital One Arena. USATSI

So what if Capital One has nothing to do with the Caps themselves? Teams will now come to D.C. to play the Capitals at Capital One Arena. The marketing possibilities are endless.

2. Madison Square Garden

Classic. The fact that it has spawned plenty of formidable nicknames, from MSG to the Garden, is proof in and of itself that this fits the New York Rangers as a headliner for the league. There's an argument to be made that its Big Apple glitz deserves the top spot here.

3. Scotiabank Saddledome

Alliteration attracts. If this were pre-2010 when the Calgary Flames played at Pengrowth Saddledome, this wouldn't be nearly as irresistible. But Scotiabank Saddledome? It's both a tongue twister and a name you won't soon forget.

4. TD Garden

This one gets points for the points it represents. OK, so this is a stretch from hockey, but considering TD Garden is less than an hour from where Boston's other beloved franchise plays and scores -- wait for it -- TDs, this name fits right in with the Patriots community. The fact that, like MSG, it also goes by the Garden makes it a draw for the Bruins, too.

5. Air Canada Centre

It's not too sexy, but it's so ideal for several reasons. First, you get the "Canada" and the Canadian spelling of "Centre" in the same title. Air Canada isn't such a bad sponsor if you imagine pucks flying through the air. And all of it blends with, you know, the Canadian hockey team that plays at the arena, the Toronto Maple Leafs. It would be another story if this were the Rangers' home.

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