Saturday, 3 September 2016

Joke's On You

Bill Foley was brought on as the majority owner of the NHL's Las Vegas franchise, but it appears he might be better served as the man delivering the monologue at the NHL Awards each year. Yes, he's a passionate orator when it comes to his Las Vegas team, but it appears he might be the best comedian in the NHL's ownership group. After all, he's been playing the media and fans all this time with his repeated team names that he's registered for trademarks!

According to reports, Fley spent the last few weeks registering fake names for his NHL team as a "misdirection ploy" in order to keep the name a secret. He also revealed that a "preferred name" has been cleared by the NHL for the upcoming season, colour schemes have been chosen, and the logo is going through tweaks as you read this. In other words, Foley's simply having fun now.

Names that are confirmed to have been trademarked include Nighthawks, Red Hawks, Desert Hawks, Golden Knights, Silver Knights, and Desert Knights. One of these is almost certainly the name, so which of the jokes can and should be taken as serious?

We know for certain that the Knights name was trademarked in North America by the OHL's London Knights when it comes to hockey teams. We also know that the Golden Knights, Silver Knights, and Desert Knights were trademarked last, and that the NHL seemingly has approved a name some time ago. Are we looking at some sort of knight-based name for the team? It seems unlikely.

With having a "Colour-hawks" name already in the NHL, Red Hawks, Golden Hawks, and Silver Hawks would almost certainly be discarded thanks to the Blackhawks having a very strong following across the continent. Adding a "Desert Hawks" is virtually the same thing, but that's a very generic description for a hockey team that play on ice. Since it makes no sense either, let's go with the name that seems most likely for a couple of reasons.

The most likely name is Nighthawks, in my opinion. It's a real bird that has ties to the Las Vegas area as the common nighthawk, seen to the right, is found in the Las Vegas region where it hunts at night - almost a perfect logo for a hockey team playing night games. There's also a military tie to the name as once-secret F-117A Nighthawk aircraft was seen testing over the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada as recently as last September. The aircraft was also being constructed at Area 51, some 90 miles north of Las Vegas, as the Air Force looked to add the stealth bomber to their fleet. The US Air Force has confirmed those test flights, adding additional layers to the Nighthawk name.

While the logo can be tweaked to represent the real bird or the aircraft, the name seems perfect as a representation of the Las Vegas area. There's no denying that having a battle of Jets versus Nighthawks would be an military aviation expert's dream in real life, but the battle on the ice could be pretty entertaining too. Of course, there are Penguins, Flyers, Ducks, and Blackhawks - to a degree - that could give the winged species a run for its money as well, so the NHL can really build on a few of these Western Conference rivalries.

Of course, I could be way off in my assessment here and Nighthawks might not even have made the cut. Heck, the Las Vegas franchise might have gone in an entirely different direction altogether and has yet to officially trademark the name without the logo being finalized. We might be speculating over nothing in which Bill Foley's little prank would have everyone considering something that's not even in the running. Joke's on me in that case.

However, the reasons stated above makes Nighthawks the wisest and most logical choice of all the names that have been trademarked. With a little digging, this prank wasn't very deep if the Nighthawk name holds true as the new NHL franchise's name. In that case, the joke is on Mr. Foley because he didn't really hide the name at all when it came to the trademarked faux names.

Whatever the name turns out to be, though, this prank wasn't funny and certainly wasn't necessary. It makes you wonder how Bill Foley is going to run this franchise if he's already throwing up smoke and mirrors when it comes to his team's name.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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