The prospect of expansion has arrived on the NHL's horizon.
Late last month, reports emerged that league commissioner Gary Bettman is interested in exploring expansion, rather than relocation, to bring hockey to the Pacific Northwest in particular.
Increasing the league's franchise total to 32 teams would make a lot of sense, especially in the new, uneven four-division format. Suddenly, NHL expansion has become immediately viable—and to more cities than merely Seattle.
For the time being, however, the hockey universe can only speculate about where a pair of new clubs would be located and what their names would be.
Existing minor- and junior-league team titles often provide a few hints. Now-defunct franchise titles are good bets for revival. Regional heritage and industry can be in play, too.
What could the next NHL teams be named? We point out a few possibilities for each prospective city on the coming slides.