By Scott Linesburgh
STOCKTON, Calif. – The contest to name Stockton’s professional hockey team began with more than 2,000 entries. That list is now down to a half dozen.
Team president Dan Chapman announced on Saturday that a panel of team officials had selected the final six names. When the decision is made, the hockey franchise will be named after a horse, a spear of asparagus, a fighter, a piece of hockey equipment or one of two weather conditions.
The finalists are: Brawlers, Fog, Skates, Spears, Stallions and Thunder. May the best name win.
A final decision will be made in mid-April, and among the criteria the selection committee will use is originality, marketability and the name’s relationship to Stockton and San Joaquin County. Team officials stated weeks ago that Stockton would be the surname no matter which nickname was chosen.
“It was a great contest, and we couldn’t believe how creative people were with it,” Chapman said. “I think this shows there’s a tremendous amount of interest in hockey.”
The hockey team will be a member of the Class AA ECHL and will begin playing at the Stockton downtown arena in October. There were 2,094 entries, and Chapman said that a total of 110 people submitted one of the final names. If more than one person picked the winning name, a random draw will determine the grand prize winner, who will get a team jersey and two season tickets. There will also be a series of consolation prizes awarded.
Chapman said there were some popular names which were left off the list.
“About 50 people picked the Stockton Sturgeon,” Chapman said. “It has a good sound to it, but we didn’t know if it was marketable. There were several good ones we couldn’t fit in. This was tough.”
He said the most original name was the Stockton Hyacinth. Hyacinth is a water plant which grows in the Delta.
“That one was pretty creative,” Chapman said. “There were some very interesting ones. And I think we have a great final group to choose from.”