Vegas Embraces Hockey Team

Calista Self, Staff Writer

The Vegas Golden Knights are a professional hockey team located in Las Vegas, Nevada. They are a relatively new team founded in 2017. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) and belong to the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. They play their home games at the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip. The team is owned by Black Knight Sports & Entertainment which is owned by Bill Foley (70%) and the Maloof Family (30%). The team’s colors include black, gold, steel grey, and red. The Head coach is Gerard Gallant. Although they haven’t won the Stanley Cup, they were Conference Champs and Division Champs for their debut season of 2017-18.

Before the Golden Knights, Las Vegas was involved in the NHL since the early 1990’s. The large city would host outdoor games between Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers outside the Caesars Palace. Las Vegas also hosted a series of annual preseason games between the Kings and the Colorado Avalanche. The NHL award ceremonies have been held in Vegas since 2009. Although the city didn’t get its own team until 2017, the city has been involved in the hockey culture in many other ways.

In early 2014, rumors surfaced about a potential hockey team to be played in Vegas, however rumors were continued to be denied by the National League. Towards the end of 2014,
Bill Foley and the Maloof family confirmed new rumors of leading a new team for the Vegas expansion team. Both Foley and the Maloof’s formerly owned an NBA team, the Sacramento Kings. By summer of 2016, the team became the first professional sports franchise to be in Las Vegas. At the end of 2016, the new team declared its name as the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Vegas Golden Knights first player contract was to Reid Duke. He committed to a three-year entry-level contract. As the early months of 2017 past, the team managed to set up affiliations with two minor league teams, the Chicago Wolves, and the Quad City Mallards. Then selected an available player from all 30 other teams in the NHL. Some of the players included James Neal from the Nashville Predators and Marc-Andre Fleury from the Pittsburgh Penguins. The first game played by the Knights was against the Dallas Stars in early October. The Knights continued through their first season and won the Western Conference. However, the Knights were defeated in the Stanley Cup finals to the Washington Capitals.

During the 2018-19 season, the Vegas Golden Knights advanced to the playoffs, but lost to the San Jose Sharks in the first round. The top scoring player for the Vegas Golden Knights is William Karlsson with 67 franchise goals. Jonathan Marchessault leads the franchise’s team in assists with 82. Marchessault is also second in goals behind Karlsson with 52 goals. Karlsson had 43 goals scored in the first season (2017-18). However, the most assist in a season was by David Perron with 50 in the 2017-18 season.

Currently, the Vegas Golden Knights are in their third season. They have a record of nine wins and five losses. Total goal points this season is 17. The Knights will be hosting a Hockey Fights Caner Night on November 21.