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Leiweke: Seattle won't be 'tone-deaf,' will keep waiting to unveil team name

Jonathan Kozub / National Hockey League / Getty

The CEO of Seattle's NHL franchise says the organization will continue to hold off on revealing the team name amid widespread protests against police brutality as well as the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's not the right time," Tod Leiweke told The Seattle Times' Geoff Baker on Tuesday. "Vegas did it a year out. We've got ample time, and the thing this organization will never be is tone-deaf. So we've got to pick the right time, and we've got to make sure all of our ducks are in a row."

Leiweke added that the team may wait until October to announce its name and that it has started designing logos and uniforms for several possible names. He also noted the club is working through "myriad" trademarking issues.

"If you do just one (name), then you've left yourself hostage to any sort of challenge," Leiweke said. "So we've had to do multiple (trade)marks, and that's about where we are."

The Seattle franchise won't begin play until 2021-22. The regular season normally begins in October, but it remains to be seen how the schedule will be affected if the 2020-21 campaign begins later than usual because of delays in 2019-20.

Leiweke said Tuesday that the reopening of KeyArena following renovations is expected to be postponed at least two months until late in the summer of 2021 due to the coronavirus. That timeline is not expected to affect the team's on-ice debut.

Seattle general manager Ron Francis said last July that the club was aiming to unveil its name in early 2020, but that plan was put on hold in March amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Vegas Golden Knights revealed their name and logo in November 2016 before beginning play in the fall of 2017.

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