The NHL’s newest expansion franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights, is already facing some stiff competition, but not on the ice. The team’s first challenge, it appears, is descending on them from above — in the form of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, which has been called the Golden Knights since the 1960s. The Army isn’t quite sure it approves of the hockey team borrowing its name.
“We’re reviewing the situation and figuring out what the way ahead would be,” Army spokeswoman Alison Bettencourt told the Fayetteville Observer this week.
Bettencourt confirmed to The Post that the Army has enlisted its legal team to review the matter, which she said the Army only found out about on Wednesday, a day after Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley announced it in a high-profile ceremony at the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip.
Foley did not elaborate on the details of those complications, but Bettencourt said a nonprofit organization sent a request to the Golden Knights parachute team on Oct. 31 asking that they make an appearance on behalf of a professional sports team at an event. The request was short on details, including the name of the professional sports team, but because of its ties to the unnamed for-profit entity, the request was immediately denied.
Since then, Bettencourt said the Vegas Golden Knights have made no effort to reach out.
“We look forward to the team communicating and determining a way forward,” she said.
Foley already ran into trouble with the Army when he wanted to name the team the Black Knights, the nickname of West Point’s sports teams, but the academy has trademarked the name.
That isn’t the case with the Golden Knights. Although the Army has used that nickname for decades to refer to the top-level parachute team, Foley may have the legal rights to it. In August, he applied to trademark that name (along with the Silver Knights and Desert Knights, just in case). The case is being reviewed.