Vegas NHL Team Name, Logo Controversy Caps A Year Of Changes

The NHL and its newest franchise, based in Las Vegas), has stirred up a bit of controversy regarding both its team nickname, the Golden Knights, and logo.

In short, the Vegas Golden Knights are inspired by the U.S. Military Academy’s “Black Knights” moniker; team owner Bill Foley stopped short of admitting that, saying the name was used because, “knights are defenders of the realm and protect those who cannot defend themselves. They are the elite warrior class.” With “Black Knights” unavailable, Foley turned to “Golden Knights,” reportedly working with Clarkson University for the rights use that name.

But “Golden Knights” is also used by Army’s parachute team, often seen landing on the field before Army football games. The Vegas unveiling, which began inauspiciously with a botched Powerpoint and error-filled tweets, may end up needing a reboot or some financial arrangement, as Chris Creamer of, suggests.

The American Hockey League, the sport’s top minor league, has seen a few new wrinkles among its members; new this year are the Lake Erie Monsters rebranding to Cleveland. Perhaps the association with the city of the Cavaliers and Indians — ok, maybe not the Browns — was preferred, although the Monsters got there first, winning the AHL title a few days before the Cavs).

There has been something of a craze this year in changing nicknames and logos, with teams, especially in minor league baseball, seemingly trying to outdo each other and gain as much attention as possible.

Vegas NHL Team Name, Logo Controversy Caps A Year Of Changes

Some of the most notable new team names in baseball include the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (née Suns), just unveiled in November, Binghamton Rumble Ponies (formerly the Binghamton Mets) and New Orleans Baby Cakes (formerly Zephyrs). Hartford picked “Yard Goats” when the team relocated from New Britain.

Teams are trying to make their names memorable in a highly competitive atmosphere. The lesson for small business owners is to pick a memorable name to stand out — especially if you are in an industry where competition is fierce.