Seattle's NHL team name: Ranking the 15 best nickname suggestions for the new hockey franchise

On Tuesday, the NHL officially approved a 32nd NHL franchise in Seattle. It was a unanimous decision, and the next step is bringing KeyArena -- former home of the Seattle Supersonics -- into the modern era.

A lot of names have been floated for the new Seattle franchise, but the name "The Metropolitans" has garnered a lot of attention. The team's actual name and color scheme isn't known yet, however, which means that there's still plenty of time to speculate since the inaugural season won't come until 2021. 

Seattle is excited to get another franchise -- especially after the ugly absconding of the Supersonics to Oklahoma City, so the name has to be reflective of the city the team is playing in while still being a good hockey name.

Here's a ranking of 15 of the best suggestions we've heard.

1. Seattle Steelheads

(The News Tribune)

It's the safe pick but for good reason. Steelhead is Washington's state fish, and the name also comes from Seattle's 1940s team in the West Negro Baseball League. You get history, you get culture, you get smooth alliteration in the title. Heck, you might even get a trout-throwing tradition started at the games.

2. Seattle Skyline

(@mrkellywilson)

Crisp and elegant. Like the Minnesota Wild, this nickname could act as both a singular and plural reference to the team. It has an obvious reference to the city's appeal. The logo could be spectacular. And think of the creative possibilities -- Seattle branding its top line on game day as "The Skyline."

3. Seattle Metropolitans

(The News Tribune

It's a little longer, it's not quite as sexy and it might take some getting used to thanks to an entire division being named the Metropolitan. It just seems to work, though, not only as another reference to the city but in the way it rolls off the tongue. Call them the Metros for short.

4. Seattle Snowcaps

(@TCRBrad

Here's a cool one (no pun intended). You throw in a depiction of Mount Rainier in the logo and you've got yourself the best weather-appropriate ice hockey name this side of the Colorado Avalanche.

5. Seattle Thunderbirds

(The News Tribune

It's also the name of Seattle's junior hockey team, so a change would be in order.

6. Seattle Nighthawks

(TSN's BarDown

It's not without some borrowed concepts (see: Seattle's football team), but the jingle of this one gives it some juice. Like Thunderbirds, it's got some decent potential for a logo and mascot, too.

7. Seattle Sasquatches

(Hockey Feed)

Not a bad effort for uniqueness, but when I think Sasquatches, I think of the hairy beef jerky mascot. Bigfoot's Pacific Northwest roots make this a fun one, no doubt, and you'd get some rich mascot potential. Something just makes this one too much of a stretch for a hockey team.

8. Seattle Kraken

(@BringBackSonics)

Imagine the jerseys here. Maybe you get a little crazy and have Kraken tentacles extending toward the sleeves.

9. Seattle Thunder

(TSN's BarDown)

The short-and-sweet nature of it isn't bad. And the cloudy setting fits. But where's the inspiration? The Thunder are also what the Supersonics turned into when they moved to OKC, so it might be tough for some Seattle fans to root for a team with that name.

10. Seattle Pilots

(The News Tribune

There's a nod to history, as the Pilots were Seattle's first-ever Major League Baseball team. It's not a particularly exciting name, though.

11. Seattle Skyscrapers

(TSN's BarDown)

The concept is similar to Skyline, but the execution is nowhere near as smooth. "Skyscrapers" sounds too long and clunky, even if the logo potential is through the roof.

12. Seattle Thunderwolves

(@adamstvns

It sounds an awfully lot like Timberwolves, which isn't ideal. Still, like Nighthawks, it's got something of a ring to it.

13. Seattle Grinders

(@dbloomy

Double-edged sword here with the reference to Seattle coffee and a gritty sport. That's some good marketing material. I'm just not so sure about its appeal over the long haul. It sounds just a tad too bland. But maybe that's because I like my coffee with cream.

14. Seattle Neon Warriors

(TSN's BarDown)

No. This comes off like "Golden Knights," except way, way worse. "Neon" just feels forced in there, and how exactly were we planning to incorporate neon -- and incorporate it well -- anyway? I get that the Seahawks brought this color to life, but do their fans even like that tint?

15. Seattle Grunge

(@BringBackSonics)

Who's going to go watch the Grunge play hockey? Do they play on dirty ice?

Our Latest Stories