IDAHO FALLS — Organizers for the new Idaho Falls hockey team unveiled the team name and logo on Thursday at Melaleuca Field to a crowd of excited locals.
The Junior A Hockey team will be named the Idaho Falls Spud Kings.
“Spud Kings is something that we think is going to create an experience inside the arena, in our merchandise with our players, on our social media branding that is going to be uniquely ours. It’s something we hope all of you will be proud to wear on your chest. I know that we are,” said Chris Hall, assistant general manager of the Spud Kings.
The Spud Kings are expected to make their debut during the 2022-2023 season at the Mountain America Center, which is under construction at Snake River Landing in Idaho Falls.
The main logo for the Spud Kings was created by a design firm called Brandiose and shows a potato wearing a robe, gloves and a crown. The potato is also holding a hockey stick.
“We wanted a spud that couldn’t be ignored, and coming into a hockey league, we wanted a spud that looked ready to fight anybody, ready to take on the competition in such a physical sport,” Hall said. “I think we’ve accomplished that with a spud that’s a little beat up, but he’s ready to keep on fighting.”
Hall explained the crown on the spud is melting butter. On the robe the spud is wearing is a star garnet, which represents the Gem State.
“We are incredibly proud to represent the Gem State,” Hall said. “This spud is growing out of the ground. We are building something that we think is really special here in eastern Idaho — a sport that we haven’t had here (and) a great brand-new facility.”
The name Spud Kings was part of a friendly local competition that began last year to name the hockey team. Around 340 names were sent in. Sixty-four names were narrowed down for the competition. Names included Inferno, Whip Tails, Arrow Pigs and Crop Dusters.
“Criteria (for the name) included, is it unique? Has it been done before? Does it have a connection to our area? Is it kid-friendly? Does it spark creativity? Will we own the category?” said Kevin Greene, president of the Spud Kings.
Greene told EastIdahoNews.com that the winner for the name Spud Kings, who has not been revealed yet, will win a prize basket that includes team merchandise and game tickets.
The team jerseys for the Spud Kings and mascot have yet to be revealed.
In addition to Thursday’s name and logo announcement, the Spud Kings announced its head coach, Josh Hoff. He will start recruiting players for the inaugural season immediately.
Hoff comes to Idaho Falls with over a decade of coaching experience. He previously led youth at Carolina Ice Palace. He’s coached teams in Charlotte and helped multiple players move to junior hockey and club college hockey. He’s been an assistant coach with the Charleston Colonials and the head coach at Hoosac School in New York.
Hoff was not present at Thursday’s announcement due to him moving across the country to Idaho Falls with his wife, newborn daughter and dogs.
The hockey season is set to begin in October, and the Spud Kings expect their first home game in mid-November.