The Best Alternate Nickname Ever for Each Current NHL Team

Tom Urtz Jr.@@TomUrtzJrContributor IJuly 14, 2012

The Best Alternate Nickname Ever for Each Current NHL Team

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    NHL teams often go by different names by the fans who follow them and love them the most. These nicknames are often positive but sometimes opposing fans like to put their own negative spin on a name.

    Throughout the history of the NHL, each team has had some great nicknames and monikers. 

    Some teams go by short abbreviations so that name would become their default nickname. This is an opinion-based list of mine so if we disagree, none of us have to lose sleep over it.

    Here are the best alternate nicknames for each NHL team.

    (Some of the nicknames came from this list. If any of these nicknames are inaccurate, leave a comment below.)

Anaheim: 'Mighty Ducks'

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    Anaheim's NHL franchise is currently known as the Ducks but once upon a time they were the Mighty Ducks. This name hearkens back to the franchise founded by Disney and the same name that accompanied three feature films.

    Everyone loves the Mighty Ducks and it is a name that really fits the team.

Boston: 'Big Bad Bruins'

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    The Boston Bruins dominance that started in the 1960s and simmered down in the early 1980s spawned the nickname of The Big Bad Bruins. This time period saw players like Gerry Cheevers, Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito all wear the Bruins' spoked wheel sweater.

Buffalo: The 'Buffaslugs'

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    The Buffalo Sabres used to have a uniform that was supposed to feature a Buffalo. However, this logo really looked like a Buffalo head on a slug's body. This "Buffaslug" nickname stuck and eventually the team reverted to a modernized version of an older logo.

Calgary: 'Flaming Snot Donkeys'

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    This nickname is pretty funny and it was a way to nickname the Flames for this alternate jersey. It eloquently describes the jersey and it was a nickname that stuck for quite sometime.

Carolina: 'Canes'

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    This nickname is a short abbreviation of Carolina's full team name but it has a nice ring to it.

    There are a few ways a fan could incorporate this into a cheer or slogan of some kind. One example of this could look something like this:

    "If you mess with the Carolina "Canes", you're going to be in for some pain."

Chicago: 'Hawks'

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    This is another team nickname that is a simple abbreviation. The Chicago Blackhawks are a storied franchise but the name Hawks really describes Chicago's agressive style of play and their ability to swoop in an take control of a game. 

Colorado: 'Avs'

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    The Colorado Avalanche have been in the NHL for a while now and most of their fans refer to them as the Avs. It is a short but simple way to describe their team and it is one of the only nicknames the team has.

Columbus: 'The Jackets'

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    Columbus is a franchise who has uniforms that pay tribute to the area's Civil War connections. The Blue Jackets is a name that fits the team and Columbus even has Civil War cannons on one of their alternate uniforms.

Dallas: 'The Sheriffs'

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    The Dallas Stars are one of the more successful relocated franchises in the NHL. The Dallas logo is a star that resembles a sheriff's badge. Dallas is an area where cowboys once roamed the land so having a team known as the Sheriffs make sense.

Detroit: 'Wings'

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    The Detroit Red Wings are usually referred to as the Wings for short. Detroit has had a history of building strong teams with skill and speed so having a nickname like Wings would aptly describe the makeup of some previous teams.

Edmonton: 'The Oil '

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    The Edmonton Oilers are often called The Oil by their fans. The Edmonton-based franchise even has a show dedicated to following the teams and it is called "Oil Change". This name is short sweet and to the point and it gets the job done.

Florida: 'The Cats'

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    The Florida Panthers are a young team that is starting to make its mark in the NHL. These Cats  are an agressive team with a complement of young players and veterans. Cats is a solid nickname because it is a short way to describe the Panthers.

Los Angeles: 'The Monarchs'

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    The Los Angeles Kings are the current Stanley Cup champions and are also the current royalty of the NHL. Having a nickname like the Monarchs makes a lot of sense given the royal aspect associated with LA's team name.

Minnesota: 'The Wild'

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    The Minnesota-based franchise is sometimes called Minny for short but, the Wild is the only name used to describe the team. It is a solid name that would certainly describe the team's moves this offseason.

Montreal: 'The Habs'

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    The Montreal Canadiens are also known by the name Les Habitants but The Habs is the shortened and Americanized version of their namesake. Habs is a short name that describes the team.

    The name was apparently started when Rangers' owner Tex Rickard told a reporter that the H on the Canadiens' sweater stood for Habs.

Nashville: 'Preds'

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    The Nashville Predators don't have a true nickname so Preds could technically be their best nickname. It is a shortened version of Predators and a name that a lot of fans use to identify their team.

New Jersey: 'The Jersey Devils'

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    New Jersey is a team that is called Devs for short but the nickname Jersey Devils is a play on their name, making reference to the mythical "Jersey Devil".

    The Devils enter the ice with intimidating music and a red atmosphere so it does a good job inspiring the same fear commonly associated with the Jersey Devils.

New York: The 'Ice Landers'

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    This is a nickname commonly used by Steve Somers of WFAN 660 to describe the franchise. The team plays out on Long Island and hockey is played on ice. The combination of the two words is pretty close in pronunciation to the team's official name 

New York: 'Broadway Blueshirts'

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    The New York Rangers play in New York City and wear the iconic red, white and blue sweaters. The predominant color is blue and the Rangers play on Broadway. It is often said that if an actor can make it on Broadway, they can make it anywhere.

    The same could be said about the Broadway Blueshirts and Madison Square Garden.

Ottawa: 'The Sens'

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    The Ottawa Senators came into the NHL in 1992 and are known as the Sens for short. Ottawa even has a jersey that features "Sens" across the chest and it is a solid way to refer to the team in a shortened manner.

Philadelphia: 'Broad St. Bullies'

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    The Philadelphia Flyers have always been a tough and physical team that never shies away from a scrap or fight. The tough streets of Philadelphia are known to have an occasional brawl occur. The nickname Broad St. Bullies is a great way to remember the rough and tumbling Philadelphia Flyers.

Phoenix: 'Desert Dogs'

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    A coyote is a creature that is a close descendant from the dog species and they have been known to live in or near the desert. The Coyotes of Phoenix are similar to this desert dog in the sense that they are almost an outcast from society. Phoenix is not a conventional hockey market and its future is in jeopardy.

Pittsburgh: 'Pens'

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    The Pittsburgh Penguins don't have a traditional nickname like the Rangers, Flyers, Canadiens or Bruins but they do go by the name Pens. It is a short nickname and it is easy to say on the fly when describing the top notch play of superstars like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal.

San Jose: 'The Teal'

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    The San Jose Sharks are known as The Teal because of their unique color scheme on their jerseys. There was a time when the Sharks had a jersey whose predominate color was completely teal.This really made the Sharks stand out during their early beginnings.

    The team has since dialed back the look and it features more colors so the jersey is easier on the eyes.

St.Louis: 'The Blue Notes'

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    The St. Louis Blues almost unveiled a jersey full of horns that would have paid homage to the city's deep musical history. However, bench boss Mike Keenan put an immediate kibosh on that idea.

    However, the team is known as the Blue Notes (given the city's rich blues history) and it also refers to the musical note on the Blues' uniforms. 

Tampa Bay: 'The Bolts'

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    Before Tampa Bay redid their uniforms, they had an alternate jersey that featured "BOLTS"  across the chest. It was a cool look at a take on the team's nicknames. Lightning usually strikes in bolt form so this nickname makes a lot of sense for this electrifying franchise.

Toronto: 'Bay Street Bullies'

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    The Toronto Maple Leafs were a very physical and intimidating NHL team during their heyday. The team now plays on Bay Street in Toronto so this nickname combines some of the Leafs history from the past and present.

Vancouver: 'The Nucks'

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    The Vancouver Canucks are known as the Nucks which is short for Canucks and one of their other nicknames "The Canuckleheads". That nickname is used by detractors of the fanbase.

    Vancouver is a franchise that is known for it's interesting uniforms and this nickname is something that is very easy to remember.

Washington: 'The Caps'

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    The Washington Capitals are a team that went under a new identity when they changed their uniforms.

    When they went to a red, white and partial blue color scheme that featured stars and stripes, they embraced their location near the nation's capital and fans started calling them The Caps again in the process.

Winnipeg: 'The Airforce'

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    The Winnipeg Jets pay tribute to the Royal Canadian Air force in their uniforms and fans sometimes refer to the Jets with The Airforce nickname.

    The Jets look like regulation RAF jets and the colors are also very identical to the pilot's uniform.


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