Answering Your NHL To Utah Questions: Team Name? Where Will They Play?

Apr 19, 2024, 2:41 PM | Updated: 2:48 pm

NHL Utah Questions...

Vision Graphics crews install an NHL banner on the Delta Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 18, 2024. Jazz owner Ryan Smith bought the Arizona Coyotes and they will relocate to Salt Lake City. (Photo courtesy of Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Photo courtesy of Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – With the NHL officially announcing a new franchise in Utah for the upcoming season, fans were left with a lot of questions surrounding the team.

There are a lot of things that still have to be worked out. But, there are many questions we have answers to as well.

What Will The Utah NHL Franchise Be Called?

Although there is a lot of solid information out there for this question, no one really knows the answer. Not even the new ownership.

There has been a lot of speculation on what the Utah NHL team would be called and Ryan Smith, owner of the franchise, fed into these talks on multiple occasions.

Six trademarks for the new Utah NHL franchise were sent to the US Patent and Trademark Office this week.

Utah Yetis was submitted for trademark a day after Utah Blizzard, Utah Venom, Utah Fury, Utah HC, and Utah Hockey Club.

It’s important to note that these trademarks were filed anonymously and are not finalized. The team name could be none of these six options.

They want to get the name right on the first try, even if that means going into year one without a name. This checks out with the Utah Hockey Club and Utah HC trademark applications.

Where Will The Utah NHL Team Play?

The new Utah NHL team will share the Delta Center with the NBA’s Utah Jazz for the next two seasons at least.

Delta Center can support 12,000 people for NHL games and over 17,000 for NBA games.

Although there is no official announcement on this topic, it is believed that Delta Center will undergo renovations over the next two years to increase that number to 17,000 for NHL games.

Some have speculated that a new arena could be built in Utah for the NHL team. But, Smith confirmed that Delta Center will be a dual-sport arena.

Who Is New NHL Team Owner Ryan Smith?

Smith is an American businessman. Born in Eugene, Oregon, Smith attended Brigham Young University and lives in Provo, Utah, to this day.

While attending BYU’s School of Business, Smith founded Qualtrics with his father Scott and brother Jared. Qualtrics is an experience management company that offers a subscription software platform.

In 2020, Smith bought a majority stake in the Utah Jazz from Gail Miller. Two years later, Smith and David Blitzer bought the Utah MLS team Real Salt Lake. Last year, Smith and Blitzer brought back the NWSL-side with Utah Royals FC.

Smith is a hands-on owner and has clear intentions to compete for a title in the NBA, MLS, NWSL and now NHL. Smith has shown these intentions on multiple occasions. First, with the trades of NBA stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert in 2022. Then, with multiple high-profile MLS signings in 2023 like Chicho Arango.

Smith has been adamant about the fact that Utah is ready for an NHL franchise and there is faith that he will do what is necessary to carry the team in the right direction.

When Will The First NHL Game Be Played In Utah?

The NHL is drafting a schedule for the upcoming season (2024/25) that has the new franchise playing in Utah.

RELATED: Coyotes Play In Utah On Version Of 2024-25 NHL Schedule Draft

There will be no grace period so when the 2024-2025 season begins in October, NHL games will be played in Salt Lake City!

How To Get Tickets, Watch New Utah NHL Team?

Shortly after the official announcement came down on Thursday, Delta Center shared that fans interested in season tickets could immediately place a $100 deposit (per seat) for the tickets.

Ticketmaster is the Official Ticket Marketplace of the NHL. Fans looking to attend games when the season rolls around can check there or on Delta Center’s website.

For fans looking to catch the action from home, there are a handful of options.

Nationally broadcast games are typically found on ESPN, ESPN+, TNT, and ABC. Regional games are shown on RSN, NHL Center Ice, and NHL Network.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Scripps (a television company) will still have the local broadcast during a press conference in Arizona.

Smith introduced Jazz+ as a method for Jazz fans to watch all games that aren’t nationally televised. There could be a similar platform introduced for Utah’s NHL games.

RELATED: Utah Jazz+ Streaming Service Launches At $125.50 Per Year

How Will The New NHL Team Be Supported In Utah?

Since 1979, the Jazz have been the only major-four sports league team in the state of Utah.

Football, baseball, and hockey fans in the state have been vouching for Utah sports seemingly since day one.

Utah sports fans show out. Despite going through a rebuild the past two seasons, Jazz fans have sold out nearly 300-straight home games.

Less than 24 hours after the NHL announcement was made, over 20,000 people put down deposits for tickets.

It’s fair to say that Utah will support its new NHL team from the very first puck drop.

What Is The History Of Hockey In Utah?

Although Utah has never had an NHL team, there is a pretty long history of hockey in the state.

Namely, the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies and the WHL’s Salt Lake Golden Eagles.

Salt Lake Golden Eagles

The Golden Eagles’ first season was in the Salt Palace in 1969. At that time, they were in the Western Hockey League and were the farm club for the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens.

They were also the only professional sports team in Utah at the time. In 1972, the team became the farm club for the California Golden Seals of the NHL.

The Golden Eagles’ impact on people’s lives went far beyond the Salt Palace. The fandom became a family tradition, leading to career and hobby choices.

Several big names emerged from the Golden Eagles franchise – Joey Mullen, Ziggy Palfy, Derek Armstrong, Kevin Cheveldayoff, Theo Fleury, and Stu Grimson.

The Utah Jazz started playing in Utah in 1979, sharing the Salt Palace with the Golden Eagles.

The Eagles won back-to-back CHL Championships (Adams Cup) in 1979 and 1980 and back-to-back IHL championships (Turner Cup) in 1987 and 1988.

Larry H. Miller sold The Golden Eagles franchise to Detroit in 1994. In their final game, they sold out the Delta Center.

Utah Grizzlies

The Utah Grizzlies would play their first season in Utah in the same building the Salt Lake Golden Eagles played their last, Delta Center.

After the Denver Grizzlies went all the way to the championship and won the Turner Cup in 1995, Colorado got an NHL team. This move resulted in the Denver Grizzlies coming to Utah.

The new Utah Grizzlies won their second championship in a row in 1996 by sweeping the Orlando Solar Bears in front of a sold-out Delta Center Crowd of 17,381 fans.

The IHL folded in 2001, and several teams were granted franchises in the AHL.

The Grizzlies were the farm club of the Dallas Stars from 2001-2004 and the Phoenix Coyotes for their final season in the AHL. In 2005, the Elmore group announced that they had purchased a then-dormant ECHL franchise, formerly the Lexington Men O’ War, and that the Grizzlies would be joining the ECHL.

Since entering the East Coast league, the Utah Grizzlies have always put together an entertaining roster that is competitive and produces fan favorites and an occasional standout.

The Utah Grizzlies remain an affordable option for hockey fans to watch high-quality, professional hockey at the Maverik Center.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Answering Your NHL To Utah Questions: Team Name? Where Will They Play?