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Golden Knights will see black, blue next season in Utah

Utah Hockey Club will be the name of the NHL team playing its games in Salt Lake City beginning this fall, with a long-term identity still to come.

Smith Entertainment Group announced the move Thursday and unveiled the initial logos and jerseys that will be used in 2024-25 in concert with the $1.2 billion sale closing. Ryan Smith’s company, which also owns the NBA’s Utah Jazz, bought the team formerly known as the Arizona Coyotes in April.

“Today is a monumental day for the state of Utah as we officially close on the establishment of a new NHL franchise,” Smith said. “The NHL has been incredible to work with throughout this process, providing us with invaluable guidance and support. We have a ton of work to do — training camp starts in less than 100 days — and could not be more excited about what’s to come.”

Commissioner Gary Bettman on behalf of the Board of Governors said he was delighted to welcome Utah to the league.

“Congratulations to Ryan and Ashley Smith, their entire organization, the state of Utah and the fans as the club continues its exciting march toward puck drop in October,” Bettman said.

The puck drops in October, but there is no timeline on when permanent branding and logos will be revealed.

After 20 initial options, the six finalists are:

— Blizzard

— Mammoth

— Outlaws

— Venom

— Yeti

The team is keeping the name Utah Hockey Club, or Utah HC. Fan voting runs through June 20.

One constant will be the color scheme of light blue, black and white that is expected to last. It was chosen to complement the Jazz’s “Mountain Basketball” purple. The hockey team is calling them mountain blue to represent the sky and the state’s winter sports history, rock black for the darkness of night and volcanic rock in the deserts and salt white for snow and famous salt flats.

The home black and road white jerseys feature UTAH diagonally down from left to right. They are set to make their first practical in-person debut later this month at the upcoming NHL draft at the Sphere in Las Vegas when players selected by the team put them on.

The Utah Hockey Club will play in downtown Salt Lake City at Delta Center, a basketball arena that will need renovations in the coming years to increase the capacity of seats with an unobstructed view of the ice. Bettman at his pre-Stanley Cup Final news conference said that was a short-term issue that will be corrected, and he applauded the new owners by saying they are “drinking from a firehose, and they’re doing it unbelievably well.”

“We’re excited about everything that Ryan and his organization are doing to welcome the players and welcome NHL hockey and introduce it into Utah,” Bettman said June 8 in Sunrise, Florida. “I think things are going even better than we could have hoped based on the short timeframe that they’ve had to work with.”

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