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Did Gov. Jay Inslee leak the name for Seattle’s possible new NHL team?

Washington Governor Jay Inslee. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
LISTEN: Did Gov. Jay Inslee leak the name for Seattle's possible new NHL team?

During a statement about proposed high speed rail between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., Gov. Jay Inslee referred to Seattle’s potential new hockey franchise as the “Totems” when noting that fast trains would boost a hockey rivalry between the two cities.

“We cannot wait to get on a high speed rail line to come up and have the greatest rivalry in North American which is to have the Seattle Totems versus the Vancouver Canucks,” Inslee said Friday in reference to a new British Columbia government proposal to study high-speed rail between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.

While prospective team owners have not revealed what a new team name might be, Totems is among the names the group has registered with the National Hockey League. Team officials have said privately no name has been chosen yet and likely won’t be until after the league officially awards a new franchise to the Emerald City — a distinct possibility during the upcoming league meeting in June.

Seattle did once have Pacific Coast Hockey League team called the Totems between 1958 and 1975, prompting one observer to note that the governor might have been “projecting his 1970s Seattle childhood” when he used the moniker. Seattle also has hockey teams named the Metropolitans, Ironmen, Bombers, Americans and Thunderbirds.

Regardless of the mascot, the city does appear likely to land its first NHL franchise soon following a recent wave of deposits for season tickets. The ownership group exceeded 25,000 deposits for tickets during the first hour after opening up sales.

Governor gets a minor penalty

On the morning of March 19, Inslee’s office responded via Twitter.

The office says Inslee is looking forward to hockey in Seattle “no matter what the team is named,” adding “Inslee, #23, 2 minutes for speculative naming.”

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