Well before the Arizona Coyotes were ever set to relocate to Salt Lake City, fans have been mocking up names, sweaters and full-blown aesthetics for a potential professional hockey team in Utah.

Now that the dream has become a reality, fans find themselves fully entrenched in the war that is naming the new NHL team.

With the Smith Entertainment Group dropping a poll of twenty names we at least know what’s on the table. And what isn’t. (RIP Raptors and Elk)

This poll will be voted on and results tallied up until the 22nd of May before the next step is laid out.

Despite the waiting, for the poll and ultimately the entire year to determine a winner, fans are still being sure to vocalize their favorite selections.

With twenty names, you can bet some of them are sure to be unfavorable in the eyes of the public (looking at you Utah Ice).

Yet by default, some of these names have to be better than the others, and I am setting out to make a case for the seemingly most popular selections.

It’s easy to put a name down when you have a handpicked selected favorite, but in all reality there’s about 4 to five names that would be met with “mostly” positive reviews.

So be aware, this ISNT my definite selection, but a positive spin on some of the names that could fit the newest NHL team to hit the ice.

Today’s selection: UTAH OUTLAWS.

Outlaws was the first real competitor to “Yeti” that I can recall weeks ago when the debates began to pick up steam.

The first challenger picked up followers in an absolute hurry and for good reason.

The idea of a person that is rotten, dirty and has few to no morals has worked well from a mascot standpoint.

No one wants to run into someone willing to steal, pillage, plunder or destroy.

Raiders, Vikings, Pirates and Buccaneers all carry a similar vibe in terms of utilizing brutality effectively as a threating/relatable mascot to the sports world.

In sports you have to earn your keep, take what you can, be physical, be intimidating and create your own luck not unlike what an Outlaw would have to do to succeed or survive.

The moniker of “Outlaw” fits right into this category, but tailors more to a Utah demographic due to its roots in the American old wild west.

There is no rule that says your team has to be a hero.

Sports are better with villains and a team known as the Outlaws puts you well on pace to be entertaining to the home crowd and aggravating to the opposition.

With Outlaws comes a variety of workable resources in terms of looks, sounds, sights and vibes for your new hockey team.

Despite not being tied to ice/winter elements, Outlaws has plenty to offer in terms of an immersive mascot name.

Wanted posters, train robberies, horses, bandanas, boots, spurs, bank holdups, cactus, tumbleweeds, wagons, saloon doors or longhorn cattle all would be viable options for team usage.

Think of your favorite western film, and picture any element as a usable visual for sweaters, hats, stickers and arena elements.

Utah would have an opportunity to right the wrongs of other franchises who have western branding but don’t necessarily play into it.

The Dallas Cowboys use a star as a logo, the San Antonio Spurs use a coyote as a mascot, and in the NHL world with the Coyotes branding going defunct, there is no west theme to be found.

Utah could be the first to go over the top with Western appeal.

And I know the common rebuttal is “What’s so Outlaw about Utah?”

Many don’t pair the state and its religious history hand in hand with fugitives of the old west.

But in stark reality, Utah’s history like much of the west, was Outlaw Country.

The well-known Outlaw, Butch Cassidy, was born right around Circleville, Utah.

He, The Sundance Kid and the Wild Bunch operated throughout Utah and had a well-documented hideout dubbed the “Robbers Roost” in Central, Utah.

The terrain and the difficulty to traverse made it an ideal spot to hole up.

History.com named Cassidy a top 5 “Legendary Wild West Outlaw.”

That makes Utah qualified to adopt the moniker as they see fit as History is on their side.

Even the religious aspects couldn’t keep Outlaws away from Utah’s history.

Willard “The Mormon Kid” Christianson rode with the wild bunch.

Point being, you cannot fully paint the picture of the Wild West and Outlaws without including Utah.

If Outlaws emerges as a big winner, as they currently sit second in betting odds, you can bet most fans will take an instant liking.

They would however have to watch out for the New York Rangers.



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