This post continues earlier ones on the origins of some hockey team names.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have several possible reasons for choosing their name. The owner at the time, Conn Smythe, may have been inspired by an old Toronto team called the East Maple Leaves.
Also, when Smythe bought the Toronto St. Patricks, he may have been honoring the Maple Leaf Regiment of the First World War. (That original team was known as the Arenas, then renamed St. Patricks, supposedly to attract an Irish following.)
Though, quite obviously, the name immediately clearly suggests the maple leaf on the Canadian flag.
The Vancouver Canucks take their name from a Canadian folk hero.
The legend says that Johnny Canuck was a great logger, and was a skater and a hockey player in his spare time. Johnny Canuck was actually a Canadian cartoon hero and superhero who was created as a political cartoon in 1869 and was later re-invented, most notably as a Second World War action hero in 1942.
The Vancouver Canucks hockey team current logo is an orca whale, but since 2008 they have also used a lumberjack rendition of Johnny Canuck as one of their team logos.
The Washington Capitals joined the National Hockey League as an expansion team for the 1974–75 season. The team was owned by Abe Pollin (also then owner of the NBA's Washington Bullets) and he had built the Capital Centre in suburban Landover, Maryland, to house both the Bullets (who formerly played in Baltimore) and the Capitals.
The Washington Capitals have a very obvious team name being that they represent Washington, D.C., the Capital of the United States.
The San Jose Sharks, as with many sports teams, held a contest to select a team name. Out of 5,000 entries, the judges picked Sharks.
That's not a bad choice considering that there are seven varieties of sharks in the nearby Pacific Ocean. There are several shark research facilities in that area and one part of Bay Area is known as The Red Triangle due to its shark population.
I didn't know this before but Tampa Bay is the lightning capital of the world. Therefore, the Tampa Bay Lightning makes perfect sense as a team name which is also associated with power, danger and speed.