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Las Vegas NHL team registers 3 choices for potential team name

Bird might be the word for the Las Vegas NHL franchise.

Franchise owner Bill Foley said Thursday night that he has registered domain names for the nicknames Red Hawks, Nighthawks and Desert Hawks. Foley said he is close to registering two other names as well.

SportsLogos.Net, which has a reputation for finding newly registered sports nicknames and logo changes, first reported the names Thursday.

The three “hawks” names for the team, which is scheduled to open play in 14 months, are registered as several different domain names by Foley’s Black Knight IP Holding Company, LLC.

While the red hawks and desert hawks do not actually exist, the nighthawks are birds that are indigenous to the state, according to the Nevada Department of Wildlife. Also, Nighthawk was the name of the Air Force’s first stealth bomber plane, which made its maiden voyage from Groom Lake and was based out of Nellis Air Force Base.

Nighthawks has been used by an American Hockey League team and a defunct United Football League team. The Red Hawks is used by the University of Miami (Ohio). Desert Hawks, according to SportsLogos.Net, never has been copyrighted for a pro or college team.

Foley told the Review-Journal last week that his choices were narrowed to four from an original 18 names the team submitted to the NHL for approval.

Foley’s goal was to unveil a nickname and logo – and merchandise to sell – for an official announcement in late September or early October. He said he has been working with the NHL and adidas, which owns jersey manufacturer Reebok. However, he wanted to keep the final four names a secret until the official unveiling.

Copyright and others issues have prevented Foley from getting his original preference of Black Knights, which would have been an homage to his alma mater of West Point. He also ran into copyright issues with the “Knights” name because of the London Knights in Canada’s major junior league.

Bill Bradley is sports editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He can be reached at bbradley@reviewjournal.com or 702-397-2909. Follow him on Twitter: @billbradleyLV

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