This is what we would have called the Las Vegas expansion team

Sam Ho

What would an expansion team in Las Vegas be called? What colors would they wear? We asked our writers, and they rolled the dice on some suggestions. We also had great submissions by our users, and Uni Watch picked the five best. Illustrations by Sam Ho

Las Vegas Bones


A couple of things here. First, to "make your bones" is a catchphrase suggesting having to establish credibility or respect through action. It's often associated with gangsters, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. And The Bones will certainly have to establish respect as an expansion team. I envision a bold, maybe scary skeleton figure on the jerseys, wearing gloves, skates and holding a stick. Did I mention The Bones character would be fierce? Think "Pirates of the Caribbean" fierce. The fact that "bones" also refers to dice gives a nod to the gaming industry, which seems to be a must, at least in a passive sense. The Bones would also allow for great scoreboard montages with opposing teams and their mascots being left to bake in the desert sun. Who wouldn't want to see Carlton The Bear (the Toronto Maple Leafs' mascot) slowly being covered in the broiling sand? Or S.J. Sharkie? Or Wildwing? I'd pay money to see that. How about a nice shoulder patch with a stylized "L" and "V" made out of bones? I think we need dark green trim, like the felt on most craps and blackjack tables, against a nice ominous black background with some silver, a nod to the state's old silver mining heritage, thrown in for good measure. As for a first GM, I'd hire Ray Shero in a heartbeat but I'd also ensure that Rick Bowness would be a member of the coaching staff. His nickname, of course, is "Bones." - Scott Burnside

Las Vegas Flamingos


The Las Vegas Strip is losing some of its charm as all the old casinos get torn down and are replaced by giant, polished corporate casinos with table limits I can't afford. Now, I certainly wouldn't mind if they named the team the Las Vegas Royales in honor of my favorite dive casino, the Casino Royale (the only casino in which I've ever been able to sit down and play craps, perfect for the lazy gambler). But the Flamingo has always held a special place in my heart as one of the last old-school casinos, and I'd love to see the team recognize it. The Flamingo has a cool history with an attachment to Bugsy Siegel, who owned the Flamingo and named it after his girlfriend. It has an old-school feel and you can almost imagine what Vegas was like when it was a mix of Hollywood and gangsters. Naming the team would be a nod to the unique history of Las Vegas -- just don't ask any of the Flamingo defensemen to block shots. - Craig Custance

Las Vegas Outlaws


Parlaying the heritage of the Wild West, freedom and frontier justice inherent in the region, my suggestion for the Las Vegas franchise is the Outlaws. The team logo will be along the lines of this awesome thing, and the team colors will be black and gold, with red accents. Home (black) and away will have "Outlaws" in Vaquero font with the bandit skull logo on the shoulders. The third jersey will be red with the bandit skull logo on the front. Given the types of players who will be available in an expansion draft, we might need to goon it up a bit in the early going. That fits the bad-guy narrative just fine. "Outlaws" is a popular name among motorcycle clubs as well, so we'd offer a line of leather motorcycle vests with the team regalia on the back, along with customized patches for the front. Maybe that would be the fan club for the lunatics in Section 238 or whatever -- the Outlaws M.C. Maybe it would be actual biker gang members! The team mascot would be an oversized bandit character. Kind of like Pistol Pete from OSU, but with a black hat and red bandanna instead of orange hat and creepy drawn-on facial hair. Instead of the Score-o promotion everyone does, we'd set up the Sharpshooter contest (a la the All-Star skills competition event). That's harder than Score-o, but we'd also give away a car right off the bat to anyone that went 4-for-4. Go high or go home in Vegas. - Tim Kavanagh

Las Vegas Nordiques


The way I see it, once we all realize what a stupid idea hockey in Vegas is, the NHL can move the team to Quebec City in five years -- after attendance has dropped to 3,000 a game -- without having to change its name. And guess what, they're building a rink in Quebec City as we speak! Wait a minute, move a team to a market where people actually live and breathe the game? That's a crazy idea! - Pierre LeBrun

Las Vegas Rat Pack


There are so many creative ways to suggest the perfect nickname of a possible NHL team in the desert. Before I finalized my choice, I thought of other names, including Wise Guys, Strippers (as in the Las Vegas Strip, and not what you're thinking), Blackjacks and Ditch Diggers. The Rat Pack was my final choice. It could have a really cool logo. I'm thinking a stylish rat with a Frank Sinatra-style hat, with a hockey stick and shovel in his mouth. The team colors would be gold, black and red. During intermissions there could be impersonators of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. singing and the mascot could be called "Lucky." - Joe McDonald

The Las Vegas Dealers


Instead of going with the obvious nickname of the Gamblers -- no offense to the USHL's Green Bay franchise -- I opted to be associated with the winning side. The casino dealer wins a lot more than the gambler. I've done some research. The franchise's tag line would be, "The house never loses." It would also allow them to play clips of the casino dealer from "Vegas Vacation" over and over again on the video board. Coming up with a mascot would be difficult, but it would have to be some sort of cartoon animal, maybe a tiger, a la Siegfried and Roy, with a visor and holding two playing cards to make Blackjack. I'm up for suggestions on that. The primary color would naturally be green -- the color of money -- and it would only make sense for a casino company to purchase the arena's naming rights. I unfortunately see the promotional giveaway of a set of dice going horribly wrong and thousands of them rolling around on the ice. I do realize the nickname could be mistaken for another type of dealer, but it can't be any worse than being named after a violent storm (the Carolina Hurricanes), a potentially dangerous snow slide (the Colorado Avalanche) or having any of the other nicknames that can be misconstrued (i.e. Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils). - Scott Powers

The Las Vegas Sin


Look, there is something just so deliciously naughty about Las Vegas and that's what makes the city such a compelling draw for anyone looking for a little mischief. The NHL's newest franchise will have to build a rag-tag group of players through the expansion draft, so why not begin by embracing the rogue element as part of the team's defining legacy? The sordid allure of "Sin City" should be apparent in the team's home record; I mean, can you imagine how many opponents are going to look worse for the wear after a night out on the Strip? And, please, do not plead the wholesome card on this one. After all, the NHL already has a team called the Devils. Granted, this name doesn't conjure up the same sort of easy imagery for insignia that a more mundane choice might bring -- the Rattlers, the High Rollers, the Wild Aces -- but I think a simple logo that leaves something to the imagination is more appropriate anyway. I'm thinking a plume of fire with a pair of hockey sticks crossing through the flames. And while the NHL might approve of the name choice, I'm guessing they wouldn't sign off on a Sammy the Sinner mascot (picture a degenerate drunk, down on his luck) carousing with the fans. This is where I'd like to incorporate local lore. Nevada is commonly referred to as the "Battle Born" state, so I like the idea of a bandanna-wearing, hard-scrabbled character called "Battle-Born Bill" with cut-off sleeves, steel-toed boots and a five o'clock shadow representing the squad; the type of guys you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley. You get the idea. And if you think of it, this team will be delivered out of battle -- a fight among other premier cities such as Seattle and Quebec City that were also vying to land a team. Team slogan? "Battle Born and Ready to Roll." - Katie Strang

Bonus: The Las Vegas Strippers