Utah is coming to the National Hockey League

“Utah” will be on the front of the jerseys of the state’s NHL team next season, owner Ryan Smith said.

The team will take its time to determine its name, logos and colors.

“It will 100 percent be ‘Utah,’ and then it will be ‘Utah Something,’ obviously,” he said. “I don’t think given this timeline that we’re going to have time -- or nor should we rush with everything else that’s going on -- to go force what that is in the next three months.”

The NHL Board of Governors voted Thursday to establish an NHL team in Utah owned by Ryan and Ashley Smith, who purchased the contracts of Arizona Coyotes executives, coaches and players. The Arizona franchise became inactive. Arizona owner Alex Meruelo can reactivate it if he builds a suitable arena within five years.

The Smiths also own the Utah Jazz of the NBA. The NHL team will play at Delta Center, home of the Jazz since 1991-92, in Salt Lake City.

Ryan Smith said the NHL team has contracted with Doubleday & Cartwright, an independent creative studio that has worked on brand identity with pro sports teams and companies like Apple and Nike.

“They’ve done so many of these identities,” he said. “They’re the best on the planet. They’re there to go run that process. I’m not going to rush them. Like, it’s really important that we’re not saying, ‘Hey, this has to be ready by the fall, especially when it’s going to be ‘Utah Something.’

“So, we’ll start with ‘Utah’ on the jersey, and we’ll figure out the logo and everything else and what it is that we are. But that’s a one-way door. You get to do it once. And with this timeline, I think both the League feels better and we feel better to just run the process, and then we’ll drop it when we drop it.”

How long will that take?

“Look, I don’t think it’s a 24-month process,” he said. “It’s a placeholder, but it’s kind of not a placeholder, because we’re going to be ‘Utah’ either way, right? We have the first part of the name. We don’t have the last.”

For more information about NHL in Utah, click here

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