POLL RESULTS: Totems is the choice for NHL team nickname

However, there was much debate on what the new Seattle hockey team should be called.

First off, a big “thank you” to everyone for participating in this week’s poll. I never would have guessed we’d get more than 1,200 votes this week, along with a slew of comments. We at the Herald appreciate your contributions.

As for the results of the poll, let’s just say there’s no shortage of options of nicknames for the new Seattle NHL team to choose from.

This week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers their opinions on what the new Seattle NHL team’s nickname should be. Seattle was awarded an NHL expansion team last week, which will begin play in 2021, but the team has yet to choose a nickname. The organization has reportedly registered for trademarks with 13 different options, and because of the limitations of Twitter polls I pulled out four of the front-runners to vote on. Here’s how you voted:


Add it all up and of the four choices, Totems received the most votes, though at 35 percent it was far from a clear choice. Both Kraken and Sockeyes garnered 26 percent of the vote, with Kraken receiving a fraction more than Sockeyes. Emeralds came in last at 13 percent.

There’s much that comes with the possibility of the team being named the Seattle Totems. On one hand the name is original, and it has a rich history in Seattle hockey. It’s the name of the minor professional team that played in town from 1958-75, and it’s currently the name of the Junior B team that plays out of Olympic View Arena in Mountlake Terrace. On the other hand, there’s questions regarding the appropriateness of nicknames with Native American roots. But Las Vegas oddsmakers also have Totems as the betting favorite.

Kraken is a choice that seems to exist on the far extremes of the spectrum: people either love the idea of the name or hate it. On the plus side it’s original and would probably sell a lot of merchandise. On the minus side it’s somewhat childish and has no real connection to the region. But its supporters are fully committed.

Sockeyes has the advantage of being both unique and relevant to the region. I guess the question is whether a salmon really has any intimidation factor. Here’s a markup of a possible Sockeyes logo/jersey one reader sent me, which received both positive and negative reviews after I tweeted it out:

Emeralds is also unique, the idea fits as Seattle is known as the Emerald City, and a green concept works in the Evergreen State. But if a Sockeye isn’t particularly intimidating, I don’t know what a gem is.

In the blog portion of the poll I added an “other” option and encouraged people to go off the board with their selections. In that poll “other” garnered 17 percent of the vote, so there’s plenty of sentiment for something other than the four listed choices. Most of the off-the-board choices in the comments section were names that weren’t among the 13 trademarked names, and the ownership group seems open to other options, so check them out. Here’s a few of them, along with my own thoughts:

Metropolitans — I get the history, as the Seattle Metropolitans were the first ever American winners of the Stanley Cup in 1917. But given the NHL has a Metropolitan Division that’s probably a non-starter.

Icehawks — There were multiple people suggesting this on the blog and on Twitter, I believe to serve as a link with the Seahawks. However, I have to think the NHL team would want to build it’s own identity, and anytime someone referred to the Hawks it would be confusing.

Steelheads, Chinook, Coho, etc. — Basically the same idea as the Sockeyes, but different species. Make your own judgment as to which species would be best.

Orcas — This was my wife’s choice, but given that the Vancouver Canucks have an Orca as a mascot and in their logo, that choice is unfortunately not an option.

Grunge, Freeze, Tax, etc. — All clever, but never going to happen.

There’s many more, so again, go check them out. And just maybe someone from the NHL Seattle group will get wind of the suggestions and add them to the list for consideration.

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