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Friday, November 22, 2002 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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It's official: Everett's hockey team will be called Silvertips

Special to The Seattle Times

EVERETT — The Western Hockey League's newest franchise has revealed the bare facts about its identity.

Make that the bear facts.

The Everett hockey team announced it will be called the Everett Silvertips, saluting a type of grizzly bear found in the Pacific Northwest and Cascade range.

The silvertip is a powerful brute that has been clocked at 30-mph bursts, much like a rugged, explosive skater in hockey. This connection — adapted from Marysville resident Susan Hawk's winning name-the-team contest entry — dominates the logo.

A snarling, caramel-colored silvertip grizzly is clutching a hockey stick in its paws, revealing three long claws that are fashioned into an "E" for Everett. Team owner Bill Yuill and General Manager Doug Soetaert also unveiled the home and road uniforms that reflect the team colors: forest green, silver and white. The bottom hem of the sweater is adorned by a stand of evergreens against a silver mountain.

Jeff McClimans of Everett and John Williams of Marysville submitted the color suggestions. The expansion club received ideas from 13 states and three Canadian provinces.

WHL Commissioner Ron Robison got a sneak peek at the logo several days ago.

"It is a design the people will embrace," he said. "It's going to be well-received. It's a strong image. It's great for hockey."

Robison said the Everett franchise is ahead of schedule with construction of its 8,250-seat arena on Broadway Avenue and with its general preparations for a September 2003 on-ice debut.

He said the league is pleased with the ownership group the Thunderbirds hastily put together about a month before the start of the season. The late-summer scrambling was a result of sometimes contentious negotiations with Yuill, the Medicine Hat, Alberta, businessman who had to sell the T-birds to own the expansion club 30 miles to the north.

"The group is bang-on with its plan," Robison said. "They're more than capable of sustaining that franchise for a long time in Seattle. It's really unfortunate it took so long to get there. I think Bill's understanding was he had a longer time to exercise that decision, and we felt different. That's history now, but clearly we're on the right track.''

Notes

Scott Scoville, Everett's scouting director, and his staff of 14 have added 20 midget-age players, including four Americans, to the Silvertips' protected-player list. One of them is Jackson High School junior Nick Brower, who will try to make the team during training camp next summer.

• Silvertips spokesman Mike MacCulloch said the team will start taking deposits for season tickets in December. He said more than 1,100 names are on the waiting list.

• Yuill said he and Soetaert will choose a head coach after the start of the year.

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