Utah Hockey Club: Newest NHL Franchise Hits Rink this Fall


This fall, the city of Salt Lake City will reverberate with the roar of fans as the Utah Hockey Club, a recently christened National Hockey League (NHL) franchise, hits the rink. While this title is just a placeholder, a more enduring epithet is on the horizon.

This exciting announcement came on Thursday, by the Smith Entertainment Group – a conglomerate owned by Ryan Smith, who coincidentally also holds the NBA’s Utah Jazz under his corporate umbrella. In a business maneuver carrying a hefty $1.2 billion price tag, Ryan Smith added the franchise, formerly known as the Arizona Coyotes, to his roster earlier this year, in April.

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Ryan Smith conveyed his enthusiasm, remarking, “Today heralds a remarkable moment for Utah as we complete the establishment of an all-new NHL franchise. We’ve been blessed with excellent guidance and generosity from the League. There is an immense quantity of work to done, with the inauguration of training camp in barely 100 days. The future holds exciting times.”

An evident beam of exhilaration momentarily lit up Commissioner Gary Bettman as he cordially welcomed Utah into the NHL fray. Representing the NHL Board of Governors, he enthused, “A heartfelt congratulation to Ryan and Ashley Smith, their entire organization, the state of Utah, and its ardent fans, as the club embarks on an exhilarating journey toward the season opener in October.”

Though the inaugural puck-drop is slated for October, the timeline for the unveiling of the franchise’s more permanent branding and logo is nebulous at present. Currently, six names, each with unique connotations – Blizzard, Mammoth, Outlaws, Venom, Yeti and remaining as Utah Hockey Club – have emerged as potential winners from an initial pool of twenty. The final call lies with the fans, whose voting window stands open till June 20.

A more definite commitment appears to have been made to the color pattern that will emblazon the team’s jerseys; a palette of light blue, black, and white. A nod to Utah’s “Mountain Basketball” purple, the Hockey Club aptly tags them; mountain blue, to commemorate Utah’s sky and wintry sports background, rock black, as a tribute to the dark nights and desert’s volcanic rock, and salt white, in honor of the snow and renowned salt flats. Both the home and away jerseys, displaying the word ‘UTAH’ diagonally from left to right are set to make their debut at the forthcoming NHL draft at the Sphere in Las Vegas when selected players don their new colors.

The Utah Hockey Club will command the ice at Delta Center, a sports arena in downtown Salt Lake City, primarily designed for basketball and thus requiring refurbishing to enhance its spectator capacity and provide a clear view of the ice. Bettman quelled any fears by recognizing it as a temporary issue and lauded the new ownership for their meticulous handling of the situation.

In conclusion, Bettman stated, “Ryan and his team have taken on the monumental task of introducing NHL hockey to Utah with fantastic aplomb. The progress they have made in such a short time frame is nothing short of spectacular.”

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.