Leaving fans to decide the name of Utah’s new NHL hockey team could be a dangerous proposition or it could yield something awesome.

“We’re doing a bracket,” owner Ryan Smith said Monday on “The Pat McAfee Show,” prompting the host to say, “Oh, no, Ryan,” while rubbing his forehead. “And I think we’re going to take us down from like eight all the way down, and the fans are gonna vote for this.”

McAfee suggested AI or bots could take over the contest. Smith said that won’t happen.

“We’ve engaged Qualtrics. I know how to handle the AI bots. We’re good,” Smith said.

Smith Entertainment Group has also contracted with Doubleday & Cartwright, an independent creative studio that has worked on brand identity with pro sports teams and companies like Apple and Nike.

While fan voting for a name will get people involved and make it fun, it could also go off the rails or, in the case of a state-of-the-art research ship, take it out to sea. In 2016, per CNN, the Natural Environmental Research Council invited the public to christen the 129-meter-long British icebreaker. More than 7,000 names were submitted to a poll. The winner? “Boaty McBoatface.”

Granted, that’s not a sports team, but it shows what can happen when the internet speaks.

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The NHL’s most recent expansion teams approached their name, logo and colors differently.

In Seattle, the franchise launched an interactive portal where anyone could offer suggestions. Team leaders also periodically met with a group of fans, showed them mockups and asked for feedback, according to ESPN.

The team also monitored social media and a Seattle Times reader poll that garnered more than 146,144 votes, though the eventual name was not among the top two, which were Sockeyes and Totems.

Fans and the team’s branding committee ultimately latched on to Kraken.

“It’s a very unique and unusual name in sports, because almost all sport franchises end with an ‘s,’” Andy Jassy, a part-owner of the team, told ESPN. “There are a lot of obvious connections to Seattle — part because of our maritime history, part of because we have so much water around us — but there is longtime folklore in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest of this mystical Kraken creature that lives just below the surface of the sea, which really captivated people for many years. That mystique, that intensity and that power that people have long talked about with the Kraken is what we expect our NHL team to play with.”

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In Las Vegas, the name apparently originated with the team ownership.

“We are now the Golden Knights,” owner Bill Foley said in 2016, per ABC News. “My whole idea was to create a logo and a name that was powerful, that would epitomize the warrior class. The knights are the epitome of the warrior class, the top of the line in terms of defending the realm, defending the unprotected. This is all part of the culture we want to create with the hockey team. And hockey players are warriors and they’re team players, they’re not individuals, they’re playing together.”

Foley also reportedly considered Silver Knights and Desert Knights before settling on Golden Knights.

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Smith has said the Utah hockey club intends to take its time to choose an identity but suggested on the “McAfee” show that it’s one of the first things that needs to be done. And though he didn’t describe in detail how the bracket-style competition would work, it seems likely the franchise would settle on the eight names before putting it out to a fan vote.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has now received applications for the names Utah Hockey Club, Utah HC, Utah Blizzard, Utah Venom, Utah Fury, Utah Yetis and Utah Outlaws. The applications were filed by Catherine P. Lake, an attorney with the Salt Lake City law firm Dorsey & Whitney, for a company incorporated in Delaware called Uyte, LLC. The relationship between Uyte and Smith Entertainment Group is unclear. Lake did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

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