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NHL Rumours: Utah Hockey and Anaheim Ducks

NHL Rumours

It’s time for another round of NHL rumours. We’re deep into round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but we have plenty of rumours to talk about. Changes are an inevitability in the world of hockey. One teams has already pulled up stakes and moved to a different city. However, there are other teams looking to make some roster changes. Today’s NHL rumours is another West Coast-bias edition with the Utah Hockey Club and the Anaheim Ducks.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

What’s In a Name of the Utah Hockey Team?

Rumour: KSL’s Ryan Miller (the writer, not the goalie) said that the ownership group led by Ryan Smith filed trademarks for a number of different team nicknames. The ownership group previously stated they would not rush into a new mascot for the team’s rebrand.

Analysis: Utah’s new hockey team will be looking for its own identity after the NHL allowed the Arizona Coyotes name and trademarks to stay with Alex Merulo’s group. The Coyotes name staying in Arizona is in line with a potential revival down the road. However, it’s onward and upward for Smith and the newest NHL team on the block.

The full list according to Miller includes the Utah Mammoth, Utah Ice, Utah Yetis, Utah Venom, Utah Fury, Utah Blizzard, Utah Outlaws and Utah Hockey Club. Some of the names have ties to the state’s climate and wildlife among other things. Social media has obviously had fun with some “hypothetical” names they want for the franchise.

Some of the names are getting more traction and the public’s opinion will be taken into consideration. Ownership knows there is only one chance at a good first impression. Getting the name right will be critical.

However, the team and coaching staff have given raves about the reception from the public when they were introduced on Wednesday. It seems that Utah is embracing this opportunity, but nailing the mascot name is important.

Anaheim Ducks

Rumour: Elliotte Friedman in his latest 32 Thoughts column talked about the status of John Gibson and Trevor Zegras with the club.

Analysis: The Sportsnet insider said that Gibson’s future is very much a topic for Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek. Gibson will likely draw some interest as a veteran to shore up goaltending depth. His numbers may not look the best, but Anaheim has struggled on the defensive end. A change in location could revive Gibson’s play. He’s been a solid goaltender at times and a better group in front of him could yield better numbers.

Zegras was challenged to show something during the end of the season and he did just that. The Ducks youngster recorded eight points in the last 10 games.  It seems that Zegras proved his doubters wrong, but is there still an undercurrent of disdain between the two sides?

Verbeek usually keeps his cards close to the vest so not to tip his hand. Most probably won’t get a read on if Zegras would get dealt until it’s close to happening. Anaheim showed some promise in the early part of the season. However, there were some pretty low lows for the club. The former “Little Ball of Hate” sold ownership on a rebuild done the right way. Verbeek won’t take shortcuts and it will take time.

Head coach Greg Cronin rode the team pretty hard and there is a group of talented younger players that got experience. Does Cronin change up his style a little bit or does he still go full-force? There are a lot of questions to be answered this summer in Orange County.

Main photo by: Gabriel Mayberry-USA TODAY Sports


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