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Ranking 13 potential Seattle NHL franchise names from Sockeyes to Seals

Domain names have leaked for 13 potential team names, so let’s rank them from worst to best.


The city of Seattle and the NHL keep flirting over the possibility of adding a team in the area, and we got our latest drip feed of information with a series of domain names registered by someone at Oak View Group, the company that’s behind the expansion bid process.

According to a report from’s Clark Rasmussen, passed on by’s Chris Creamer, Oak View Group has registered 38 different domains covering 13 different potential nicknames for an NHL franchise. Those ideas include the Seattle Whales, Seattle Eagles, and Seattle Kraken. One name that’s noticeably absent is Metropolitans, the name used from 1915-24 by the Pacific Coast Hockey Association team that won the 1917 Stanley Cup.

It’s important to note that none of this is official — the NHL hasn’t even awarded a franchise to OVG or the city of Seattle yet, and it’s possible that the team could choose a different name from those in the registered domains.

But with this latest inkling as to what a potential NHL franchise in Seattle will look like, let’s take a moment to rank the possibilities presented by Rasmussen’s digging, because we know everyone has opinions.

13. Seattle Renegades

I’m sorry but calling yourself “The Renegades” would be super corny. Let’s just not do this one.

12. Seattle Totems

Totems are monumental carvings with a long history among the Native American population in the Pacific Northwest. There was a WHL team in the 20th century named the Totems that almost joined the NHL. With that said, a lot of people outside the region probably don’t know that off the top of their heads. (I admittedly didn’t and needed to update this post because I’m a moron). A Totes vs. Yotes game would be a fun, at least.

11. Seattle Evergreens

Is this, like, a tree reference? I know there’s an NBA team named after the cracking sounds lightning makes, so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. Seattle has lots of trees. Sure.

10. Seattle Sockeyes

The Sockeye is a fish, which does not seem like a remotely cool mascot. Also, there’s an ultimate frisbee team in the area called the Seattle Sockeye, and do you want to mess with a bunch of ultimate frisbee bros over a fish name? Probably not.

9. Seattle Firebirds

This one kind of reminds me of “Golden Knights” in that a firebird isn’t really a thing that exists. It’s just, like, a cool idea. But hey, if the team used Moltres as its mascot, I’d be down.

8. Seattle Cougars

Cougars feels like a name reserved for high school football teams.

7. Seattle Emeralds

Seattle is known as the Emerald City given the vast greenery that populates the area, and you could probably make some very classy logos/uniforms using that motif. Presumably people would call them the “Ems” a lot, which isn’t bad, either.

6. Seattle Eagles

A nice, safe name that’s also shared by my alma mater, so we’ll give it bonus points for that. If anything, the problem with Eagles is that it’s already so popular — an NFL franchise and countless universities use the name or some variation of it.

5. Seattle Rainiers

The Seattle Rainiers were a baseball team in the area in the 20th century that got their name from the local Rainier Brewing Company, so there’s some history here. It’s also obviously a reference to Mount Rainier, which is one of the largest mountains in the United States. The problem might be that it’s a little TOO local for a franchise that ideally garners fans from around the Pacific Northwest.

4. Seattle Sea Lions

Animal names are usually a good idea, and sea lions are awesome. This would be another fun choice, although it’s fair to say that the three below would be even more fun.

3. Seattle Whales

It’s undeniable that part of the appeal of naming an NHL team “The Whales” comes from the nostalgia of that little team in Hartford. Fans still love those iconic logos, jerseys, and the Brass Bonanza, and the Seattle franchise could play off that a bit while carving out its own brand.

2. Seattle Kraken


Need I say more? (Probably.)

1. Seattle Seals

So yes, this is 100 percent subjective, but if it was up to me and these were my 13 choices, I’d go with Seattle Seals for the new franchise. First, you have a great, alliterative, one syllable nickname that rolls off the tongue. Second, you get the nice nod to the California Golden Seals, who had some of the most awesome jerseys ever. Third, seals are adorable sea creatures and having the crowd chant like seals would be both hilarious and incredibly irritating. I love it. GO SEALS!!