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NHL Seattle GM Ron Francis
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NHL Seattle name announcement may be just months away, says GM

NHL Seattle general manager Ron Francis spoke about the unnamed team Tuesday. (AP)

The start of the next decade is less than a month and a half away, and that could end up being significant for Seattle sports fans.

Why?

NHL Seattle general manager Ron Francis said Tuesday that the as-yet-unnamed hockey franchise could finally announce its name in early 2020.

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According to an article by NHL.com’s Nicholas J. Cotsonika, Francis said at the PrimeTime Sports Management Conference that he hopes the team’s name will be announced in the first quarter or first half of next year.

“I think we’re getting close,” Francis said, per the NHL.com story. “But there’s also the process of going through and making sure it’s trademarked correctly so (there are) not any issues there. So that takes a little while to go through that as well.”

It sounds like there are still a few hurdles for the organization to get through regarding name selection, however.

“They have a few selections left,” Francis said, “and it’s a question of trying to come up with a logo to match the names and see what everybody’s comfortable with. And once they get to that point, then they’ll trademark it and make sure we’re protected.”

Sportsnet in Canada reported earlier this month that NHL Seattle aimed to announce a name before the league’s All-Star break in January, but Tuesday’s quotes from Francis are the first public comments in some time from an official member of the team about a name announcement.

Prospective NHL Seattle fans have been patiently waiting for a team name since a franchise was officially awarded to the city just under a year ago. Tod Leiweke, CEO of the franchise, told 710 ESPN Seattle in late 2018 that a team name may be revealed in spring 2019 and that the team colors could be a surprise. While spring 2019 – and essentially the rest of the year – came and went with no name announcement, the franchise did revamp its official website in June with a pink and teal color scheme that grabbed some attention.

The NHL Seattle website and social media accounts currently feature purple as the dominant color as part of the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer initiative.

Seattle’s NHL team is set to begin play in the league with the 2021-22 season. A brand new arena under the old Seattle Coliseum/KeyArena roof at Seattle Center will be its home, and an ambitious practice facility is being built in the Northgate neighborhood.

Lydia Cruz helps you get ready for the NHL’s arrival in Seattle