A lot — pretty much everything, really — is up in the air as far as the NHL is concerned while the league is shut down indefinitely to help try and curb the spread of coronavirus as the pandemic continues to worsen, especially in North America.
As the NHL reels and figures out its next steps in trying to salvage some kind of 2019-20 postseason amid the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, the naming of its newest franchise will have to wait.
Mark J. Burns of the Sports Business Journal is reporting that the Seattle franchise will hold off naming its team as more important matters take hold.
“NHL Seattle will not unveil the team’s new name this month because of sensitivities related to the coronavirus pandemic. The club entered this year hoping to have the name selected and ready for release in Q1, but those plans are being pushed back,” Burns wrote on Wednesday.
Seattle was awarded the NHL’s 32nd franchise in December 2018, and since then, speculation and rumours — all unsubstantiated — have swirled surrounding potential names for the new club, with the Metropolitans, Steelheads, Totems, Sasquatch, Emeralds, Pilots, Cascades and Grunge all being thrown out there as potential monikers over the last 12 months or so.
While ‘Kraken’ and ‘Sockeyes’ are the two potential names that seem to have the garnered the most momentum, the team has been mum on confirming or denying any rumours, and now we’re going to have to wait for all of this to at least somewhat blow over before the name gets unveiled.
As far as priorities go for the league and society as a whole go right now, this certainly ranks near the bottom, as keeping its players and personnel safe while trying to work through the insane logistical challenges of trying structure an altered playoff format and salvage the season while maintaining the integrity of the playoff process is certainly where most of, if not all, the league’s attention is squarely focused right now.
The NHL is currently on hold indefinitely as COVID-19 forced the NHL — and essentially every major sporting entity in the world — to pause its schedule last to try and limit the spread of the quickly-moving virus.
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