18 November 2010

Hockey Team Name Origins

As it gets more wintry in my part of the U.S., thoughts turn to hockey. Hockey team names seem to pretty straightforward in their origins.

Ottawa Senators Logo Nhl Poster 22.5X34 3917
The Ottawa Senators honors an old Ottawa Senators hockey team that won 6 Stanley Cups. Originally: as Canada's capital, the nickname for 1901 amateur team.

Old Time Hockey Philadelphia Flyers Home Lace Hooded SweatshirtThe Philadelphia Quakers had been that city's first NHL team briefly in 1930-31. The name reflected the heritage of the area's original settlers, but people felt that the name "Quakers" was jinxed because that original team had the second worst record in NHL history (4-36-4).

For a new team, the name choices were narrowed down to the Flyers or the Quakers. Philadelphia's first general manager, Bud Poile, once ran a pro team in Edmonton called the Flyers, so that was the pick.

Phoenix Coyotes White Replica Jersey
The Phoenix Coyotes started as the Winnipeg Jets in the WHA. Then owner Ben Hatskin asked his pal Sonny Werblin (then owner of the National Football League's New York Jets) for permission to use the name.

The Jets' first signing was Norm Beaudin ("the Original Jet") and the teams first major signing was Bobby Hull ("The Golden Jet"). Hull's acquisition, partially financed by the rest of the WHA's teams, was widely seen as giving legitimacy to the WHA as a serious rival major league to the NHL.

The Jets were further noteworthy in hockey history for being the first North American club to seriously explore Europe as a source of hockey talent.

Winnipeg Jets 1990-1991 Heritage Sweater JerseyAfter moving to Phoenix for the 1996-1997 season, the team name changed to reflect an animal that is well known in the southwest region of the U.S.

The new logo depicts a Kachina-style coyote standing upright with a hockey stick. The head of the coyote features a mask drawn in the Southwestern style. The Phoenix Coyotes team colors are of a Southwestern flavor, and include forest green, brick red, sand, sienna, and purple.

 Old Time Hockey Pittsburgh Penguins Home Lace Hooded Sweatshirt
For the Pittsburgh Penguins, the management held a contest and chose Penguins, partly because the animal is associated with the ice and cold and supposedly partly because the team is in PENnsylvania.

Quebec Nordiques - Committee named them Nordiques (then in the WHA) because they were the northernmost team in pro hockey at 52 degrees North, 72 degrees West.

St. Louis Blues Reebok Alternate Premier NHL Jersey
The St. Louis Blues early owner, Sid Salamon, Jr., took his inspiration for the name from the famous song by W.C. Handy.

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