Most Canadians are aware that Gary Bettman, the NHL commisioner is mostly against expansion into new Canadian markets. But I think I have a way to entice him. All we have to do is come up with wonderful names for those expansion clubs.
Let’s start with Quebec City. This city once housed an NHL team and if Winnipeg is any guide, that gives this city an edge in getting an expansion team.
Sure they had the Nordiques but I say Quebec holds fertile ground for club naming. You see it is French speaking. Most will agree that the English speaking world has so many sports teams that it is nigh on impossible to find a new, tough animal to name English teams after. There are so many fewer professional teams in the French speaking world that I think they can come up with ones new to French. I say we call them the Seals. In French that would be Les Phoque. This rhymes with Hey Toque.
The province of Quebec simply does not have any other large cities besides Montreal and Quebec. So let’s continue our search for new club names in English Canada. Let’s start out east in the Maritimes’ largest market – Halifax.
If the English speaking world can’t have unique animal names, I say that we should name them after hockey specific words.
Now Maritimers enjoy a good alliteration, so the hockey word that jumps out at me is the penalty called hooking. Now someone who hooks is called a hooker. So I say we name the team the Halifax Hookers. Since a hockey stick is basically a long, bent shaft, hooking is one of the natural movements of the sport.
The Toronto market is so big it seems ripe for a second team. Now Torontonians will want a really central sounding name for their team. I think that city will name their team after something integral to hockey, like the puck. I think they will be known as the Puckers. There’s a possibility that their opponents might be pucked. But if they follow in the footsteps of the Maple Leafs, their team might be pucked when playoff time comes.
Rumours of Hamilton getting a team have been around for years. I imagine this team being big and bruising. As such I wouldn’t be surprised if they were named the Body Checkers. They would live up to their names and this is how I see it happening. Before each game, instead of drills, they would watch the arena fill up. As such, the team would be the ones to have the binoculars. But they are the Body Checkers and when you look at a full arena crowd, all you see are heads. So, they would refuse to start the game until the audience fills up the seats by standing on their heads. Women in skirts would dress knowing this pregame tradition. As such, no more skin would be seen on a skirt wearer than you can see in women’s figure skating.
My city, Kitchener, would get the Five Holes. When asked what this means for this team, only the goalie would speak up. “From my vantage I see five teammates. Just to ensure that I mostly see unmentinable holes, when my team returns from the other end, they usually skate backwards.” And that is the embarrassing story about Kitchener’s future team.
London is the other Ontario city that I think will soon be able to draw enough people to professional games. I see them naming their team after an important hockey term. They would be the Big Dekes. But wait a second, in hockey sometimes a little deke is just as good. Because Londoners, too, like their alliterations, I think their team will be known as the London Little Dekes.
And there we have it. Six names for possible Canadian hockey clubs. I think they are so enticing that even Gary Bettman will want to let Canada have a lucky thirteen teams.