From Worst to Best: Ranking the Utah Team Name Options

Our ranking of the 20 finalists for the Utah team name.
NHL Grants Arizona Coyotes Sale And Relocation To Utah
NHL Grants Arizona Coyotes Sale And Relocation To Utah / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

Although the Utah NHL team won't actually take on an official new team name until the 2025-26 NHL season rolls around, the franchise is wasting no time sparking discussion and soliciting fan input in what they will be called. 20 finalists have been announced, and now fans have until May 22 to log onto the online poll and select their top four options.

We at what is still known (for now) as Howlin' Hockey have our own thoughts on the good, the bad and the ugly of the names. Here is our ranking - from worst to best - as well as some quick hit thoughts on the potential future names for the Utah hockey team:

20. Utah Powder: Problematic associations aside, who really wants their team's identifier to be soft snow? Not sure what the logo would look like, or what you would call the players.

19. Utah Outlaws: For all the creative, unique names presented, this one felt like it came out of a random team name generator. Plus, it doesn't exactly roll off your tongue.

18. Utah Blast: While there may be loose ties to snowstorms, it's difficult to see what the "Blast" name represents.

17. Utah Ice: This one looks and sounds pretty cool (no pun intended), but it's hard to get past the fact that the name simply describes what they play on. I mean, you don't see an NFL team known as the "Turf" or an NBA team called the "Court".

16. Utah Canyons: A canyon is a deep, narrow valley created from erosion. Cool, I guess?

15. Utah Caribou: I'm no wildlife expert, but apparently there aren't even any Caribou in Utah?

14. Utah Frost: We get it, Utah is known for being cold. But there are significantly better names that could be used to represent that (including some options still to come on this list).

Utah Hosts NHL Welcome Party
Utah is ready to welcome the NHL / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

13. Utah Freeze: While Freeze is a slightly cooler name than Frost, it still doesn't really change the sentiment shared above.

12. Utah Black Diamonds: Credit for thinking outside the box on this one, but does the team really want to be named after the designation for difficult ski hills? They will be playing hockey, not competing in downhill.

11. Utah Mountaineers: The mountains make for a cool team representation, but the University of West Virginia has laid claim to the Mountaineers name for nearly 100 years now. I know teams across sports can share names, but it's kind of their thing at this point.

10. Utah Venom: Cool name? Absolutely. Intimidating? No doubt. The problem is that it just doesn't carry any specific regional tie-in and, thus, is pretty generic. We're getting somewhere, though.

9. Utah Hive: The official state insect of Utah is the honeybee, so this one checks out. However, even for a stinging insect, the term "Hive" doesn't feel particularly threatening and is probably better off as a nickname for their supporters or arena.

8. Utah Fury: Much like Venom, Fury follows the fighting, threatening spirit we're going for here, while still being a bit too generic. We'll rank Fury a little higher given how nicely it flows alongside Utah.

Gary Bettman, Ryan Smith, Ashley Smith
Ryan Smith, seen here flanked by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and wife Ashley Smith, is leaving the decision on Utah's team name in the hands of fans. / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

7. Utah Squall: A squall is defined as an "intense short-lived burst of heavy snowfall", so it successfully marries the winter / snow theme with a slightly threatening vibe. On the downside, there's still no easy logo to visualize and, if we're being honest, the word "squall' sounds rather weird.

6. Utah Glaciers: Glaciers may not blow anyone away as a team name, but the image of these large, formidable frozen landforms paints a far more imposing, creative picture than Ice.

5. Utah Mammoth: Who cares that the woolly mammoth has been extinct for thousands of years? This name serves to both represent a massive, imposing species that did occupy the region that is now Utah and associate the franchise with a strong, hyperbolic word that is suited to the sport of hockey.

4. Utah Swarm: Where Hive fails to be an intimidating honeybee reference, Swarm succeeds, while also embodying something of an aggressive team-oriented identity. I do wonder, however, how many people are aware of the connection between Utah and bees.

3. Utah HC: You can't try for something unique and different without picking up some critics along the way. But while some may reject an NHL team drawing inspiration from European soccer and going by "Hockey Club" instead of a themed name, I am all for originality and trying something different.

2. Utah Blizzard: It may not inspire an easy, obvious logo or mascot, but the Blizzard name checks an awful lot of boxes. It's unique, catchy, intimidating and regionally appropriate. And the tie-in to a Dairy Queen sponsorship practically writes itself.

1. Utah Yeti: While it might skew a touch on the corny side and have a bit of a semi-pro vibe to it, Yeti offers just about everything you want in a team name. Take all of the positives from my Blizzard section, throw in a ready-made mascot and brand identity and you can see why Yeti may be the best of the bunch.