Ryan Smith: Utah’s NHL Team Nickname Trimmed To Four Finalists

May 30, 2024, 12:57 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – Owner Ryan Smith said the nickname list for Utah’s NHL team has been cut to four finalists following an initial round of voting by fans.

Utah’s NHL team nickname down to four finalists

Smith confirmed two of the potential team nicknames for Utah’s NHL franchise during an impromptu appearance on The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, May 29.

Hockey is a prominent conversation on the former NFL player’s show, especially during the current run of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Throughout Wednesday’s show, McAfee sat near the league’s championship trophy, the Stanley Cup, which was in-studio for the show as part of the award’s postseason tour.

During the third hour of the program, McAfee grabbed his cell phone and called Smith.

WARNING: Explicit language is featured in the video above

“I’m standing with something that you can only dream of, pal,” McAfee began his video call with Smith. “What’s that? You know what that is?”

“Bro, that’s the Cup,” Smith replied.

“I’m happy you knew that answer,” McAfee said back.

“We’re gonna fill that full of Diet Mountain Dew and all sorts of stuff,” Utah’s NHL owner responded.

Following the initial part of the unplanned conversation, McAfee asked Smith where the organization was in the naming process.

“How far along are we on the team name thing?” McAfee asked.

“We’re coming. We’re coming,” Smith shared. “We’ve got our four. I think you know Mammoth’s up there. I think Yeti’s up there. I think a couple others are up there. It should be good.

One of McAfee’s co-hosts, Anthony “Tone Digz” DiGuilio, asked Smith, “What about Black Diamonds?” Smith didn’t respond to the question or reveal the two other potential nicknames.

“Good luck winning Lordo,” McAfee told Smith before ending the call.

In KSL Sports’ unofficial nickname poll, Utah Yeti was the running away winner with 32.4 percent of the vote.

Naming process for Utah’s NHL team

Since 2023, Smith and McAfee have developed a friendship. The new NHL owner has appeared on McAfee’s program multiple times and Smith has hosted the sports media personality for a Utah Jazz game at the Delta Center.

In April, Smith told McAfee that Utah’s NHL team would have its nickname decided by a bracket voted on by fans.

RELATED: Ryan Smith Says Fan-Voted Bracket Will Decide Utah’s NHL Team Nickname


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On May 8, Smith Entertainment Group opened a survey for fans to help choose the team’s name. The survey included 20 potential nicknames and allowed fans to vote on up to four choices.

Voting for the survey of 20 nicknames closed on May 22.

Initial list of potential nicknames for Utah’s NHL team

These were the nicknames listed on the survey:

  • Utah Blast
  • Utah Powder
  • Utah Mammoth
  • Utah Mountaineers
  • Utah Black Diamonds
  • Utah Swarm
  • Utah Yeti
  • Utah Caribou
  • Utah Frost
  • Utah Venom
  • Utah Squall
  • Utah Outlaws
  • Utah Hive
  • Utah Freeze
  • Utah Fury
  • Utah HC
  • Utah Glaciers
  • Utah Canyons
  • Utah Blizzard
  • Utah Ice

“Utah’s NHL team is a community asset, and we want to make sure that the community has a say in what the name is,” SEG chairman and governor of Utah’s NHL team Ryan Smith said in a statement. “Utah has shown up for this team from the moment the NHL awarded us the franchise…it is only fitting that our fans get the rare opportunity to help name the team they’ll be cheering for.”

RELATED: Smith Entertainment Group Announces Location Of Utah’s NHL Practice Facility

Smith previously announced that the team would be called “Utah” rather than “Salt Lake City” or “Salt Lake.” The team will sport “Utah” on its sweaters during Year 1 as a franchise.

During the next year, SEG will work with Doubleday & Cartwright, an acclaimed creative consultancy and design studio, to create the team’s logo, mascot, colors, and other branding elements.

SEG said it will unveil the name and branding before the 2025-26 season.

Kyle Ireland is an insider for Utah’s NHL team for KSLSports.com. Follow him on X (@kyleireland), Threads (@kyleirelandksl), and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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Ryan Smith: Utah’s NHL Team Nickname Trimmed To Four Finalists