The new Professional Women’s Hockey League has filed trademark applications for six possible team names.
Applications to trademark Toronto Torch, Montreal Echo, Ottawa Alert, Minnesota Superior, Boston Wicked and New York Sound were all filed by PWHL Holdings, LLC on Wednesday, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s database. The trademark applications were first reported by DetroitHockey.net.
The league hasn’t yet announced team names for its first six franchises, and the trademark applications don’t necessarily mean these will ultimately be the names the league chooses.
PWHL advisory board member Stan Kasten told CBC Sports earlier this month that teams will have names by January 2024, when the league is expected to begin play, but team logos are less certain.
“I don’t know about logos,” Kasten said at the time. “But we’ll see. We might. We might surprise everyone. Or we might not surprise everyone. We’re just not ready to announce anything yet but when we are, we will.”
The PWHL unveiled a league logo earlier this week that includes a stylized W, representing women, with two sticks crossed and a puck to create the visual of a faceoff.
“This element was chosen to illustrate a new beginning in women’s hockey, in the same way a faceoff takes place at the beginning of every game,” the PWHL said in a news release.
While the PWHL’s logo is purple, a colour chosen because it “signifies power and is often associated with ambition, both symbolic of PWHL players and the league’s formation,” each team is using a version of the logo with a unique colour — blue for Toronto, red for Ottawa and maroon for Montreal.
Long women’s hockey history for Ottawa Alerts
At least one of the possible team names has a storied history in Canadian women’s hockey.
The Ottawa Alerts were a successful women’s hockey team throughout the 1920s, according to Brian McFarlane’s book, Proud Past, Bright Future: One Hundred Years of Canadian Women’s Hockey.
In it, he describes how the team won the Eastern Canadian championship in 1922 and played a series against a women’s team from North Toronto, drawing about 4,000 fans to at least one of those games.
The University of Ottawa and Carleton University also play for the Alerts Cup during the annual Colonel By Classic, a celebration of the city’s women’s hockey history and the Alerts, who were Canadian champions six times in the team’s 15-year history.
Other possible team names hint at prominent local geography. The Minnesota Superior likely refers to Lake Superior, the Great Lake that touches Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ontario, while the New York Sound may be a reference to the Long Island Sound between New York and Connecticut.
Teams will open training camps on Nov. 15, with more than 180 players set to attend across the six teams. But the PWHL still has lots to do before the players hit the ice.
In addition to team names, the new league still has to announce the schedule for each team and the venues where those teams will play and practise.
“The thought of standing up one team in an existing league in six months is kind of nuts,” Kasten told CBC Sports earlier this month.
“And here we are trying to stand up six teams in a new league, none of which existed when we began. And yet, we’re going to do it. I’ve never felt more confident than I do today that we are going to have our first games in January and have our first season in 2024.”