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Probably Won’t Happen, But Thunder Might Just Be The Perfect Name

I’ve tried to stay away from the team name debate for as long as I could but making my feeling known my feelings known on Twitter didn’t seem to satisfy. I may be ‘Old School’ but I would be happy with the Thunder first and the Wranglers second. After all, those two are synonymous with the culture of hockey in Las Vegas, no disrespect intended to the Las Vegas Flash roller hockey team, but after watching Zootopia three dozen times by myself with my kids, Flash isn’t exactly the character that you build around.

It’s easy for me to say because I didn’t spend close to a billion dollars setting up a NHL organization. If I had, I would at least want to pick the name but at what expense.

Perhaps I don’t get the whole process of buying a NHL team but at the same time I can’t help but to wonder what was being done in the year The Creator was waiting for the announcement of whether he would be accepted into the Boys Club of owners who didn’t pay as much to enter their franchises combined. Like other aspects of the organization the process of obtaining various web sites or at least an easy search to see what names were available should have started the minute Gary Bettman instructed him to “just sell tickets” last Summer at the MGM Grand.

Far be it for me to question people who are more successful at their lives than I’ll be at my next ten combined, but seriously, if you can ask for permission to move forward on a practice facility perhaps the idea of asking Adidas and the league about team names could been a caveat to the request.

If we named it the Thunder, a name still owned by the Stickney family according to Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review Journal, it would mesh nicely with the Nevada Storm, a high level junior team playing out of the Las Vegas Ice Center. The Storm will also be the answer to a trivia question. Who was the first to skate at the T-Mobile Arena? The answer will be all players from the Ice Center a week from Wednesday.

If you remember the Thunder, and the culture that they created, it should resemble what The Creator hopes to create. They won just under 59% of their games and if you take out the last two years that the Thomas and Mack quit on them, they were a stunning 196-99 good for a .644 win percentage. It may not be the name he wants but it is a name that Las Vegans identify with and it’s a name that is associated with winning. To take it even further the Thunder was knocked out twice by the Utah and Denver Grizzlies becoming our bitter rival in the process.

I’ll reiterate that there isn’t a better place to have an AHL affiliate.

I’m aware that the Thunder will most likely not be the team name, but if this gets into September and teams are still trying to blackmail The Creator into overpaying for the name he wants I’m sure one call to good ‘ole Hank Stickney would do the trick.


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  1. Michael

    One problem with Thunder-type names to me, is that they don’t work for singular players. “I wanted to sign here and be a Thunder” doesn’t really work.

    The Wranglers, of course, would not have that problem.

    • Eric

      I wanted to sign here and join the Thunder.

      Better team speak by necessity. 🙂

  2. There’s already a team called the Lightning, so having another called the Thunder would be just plain stupid.

    They play across the street from the MGM Grand, so why not the Las Vegas Lions? The Mirage is just a few blocks north, so maybe the Las Vegas White Lions?

    They can’t have a name associated with gambling, so no Las Vegas One-Armed Bandits, but Vegas is a western town and an Old West theme would work, so how about shortening it to the Las Vegas Bandits?

  3. Michael

    Ha ha – I get your point Eric, but there are so many other ways of describing single players.

    “There is an Islander down on the ice, after a bad collision.”
    “Kane is the first Blackhawk to score three times in a period”

    Etc etc. Obviously these can be remedied with the same roundabout phraseology, but there is something nice about having a name that can be used in individual terms too.

  4. Dan

    And when we play Tampa Bay, it would be the Thunder and Lightning 🙂

  5. Eric Garbarczyk

    Florida boy here wanting to chime in for a second. I first got into hockey when I was 10, going to old Orlando Solar Bears games. Always thought the name “Thunder” was really cool. I collected jerseys a few years back and picked up a Thunder jersey (with the newer logo). I wear it every now and then when I have to fill in goal in my dek league. Everyone always gets a kick out of it.

    I know, all of that is somewhat random. Just wanted to let you know that a little part of the Thunder living out there. Would love to see you guys bring back that name.

  6. Jeff

    I would love for the team to be named the Thunder. I already have 3 jerseys. Greg Hawgood, Ken Quinney, and Sasha Lakovic. My wife has a Clint Malarchuk and a Patrice Lefebvre.

  7. Bb

    Why not be named the Mallards? How about the Blue Wings? You want to name a billion-dollar startup in tradition with badlands quintuple-A hockey? Be original and create your own brand.

    Vegas Rush.

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