New NHL team in Utah might not have a name next season

If the new incoming Utah NHL team seemed like it was rushed, well, wait until you see their jerseys for next season.

Today, the NHL officially announced the sale of the Arizona Coyotes to Utah businessman Ryan Smith.

Playing in Salt Lake City, the team will opt for the state branding, with “Utah” accompanying their team name.

But they’ll be without an official nickname for now, Smith told the media. The team does not want to rush into things with the new season starting in October.

As per ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski, colours for the team are expected next week, but an official full team branding isn’t expected until the team’s second season.

In any case, the team’s inaugural season should provide some pretty unique merchandise for fans and collectors, given that it’ll quickly be out of date.

Last night, the Arizona Coyotes played their final home game under the current edition of the team. Current Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo retains the rights to the Coyotes name and branding, and has been given a five-year window to bring a new franchise to the state via expansion. The Coyotes, who originally moved from Winnipeg back in 1996, lasted 27 seasons before the league decided to depart from the desert state.

The biggest hurdle for Meruelo remains the lack of a full-size NHL rink, as he currently searches for a site to build a new home for the Coyotes after they spent the past three seasons at Arizona State University’s Mullett Arena.