Vegas Golden Knights

The Vegas Golden Knights are a professional ice hockey team based in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The team began play in the 2017–18 NHL season, and is a member of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team is owned by Black Knight Sports & Entertainment, a consortium led by Bill Foley and the Maloof family.[4] The team plays its home games at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada.[5]

Vegas Golden Knights
2018–19 Vegas Golden Knights season
Vegas Golden Knights logo
Conference Western
Division Pacific
Founded 2017
History Vegas Golden Knights
2017–present
Home arena T-Mobile Arena
City Paradise, Nevada
WCP-VEG-Uniform
Colors Steel grey, gold, red, black[1][2]
                   
Media AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain West (TV)
KRLV (Fox Sports 1340/98.9) (English radio)
KENO (ESPN Deportes 1460) (Spanish radio)
Owner(s) Bill Foley (70%)[3]
Maloof family (30%)
General manager George McPhee
Head coach Gerard Gallant
Captain Vacant
Minor league affiliates Chicago Wolves (AHL)
Stanley Cups 0
Conference championships 1 (2017–18)
Presidents' Trophy 0
Division championships 1 (2017–18)
Official website nhl.com/goldenknights

History

Background and establishment

The NHL has had a presence in Las Vegas since 1991, when an outdoor game was held in Las Vegas, with the Los Angeles Kings facing the New York Rangers outside Caesars Palace in a preseason exhibition game. The city has since hosted the Frozen Fury, a preseason competition between the Los Angeles Kings and the Colorado Avalanche, and the NHL Awards ceremonies have been held in Las Vegas since 2009.[6] In 2009, the media speculated about a plan involving Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Nevada.[7]

Rumors of a Las Vegas expansion team surfaced again in August 2014, pointing to a new indoor arena on the Strip (built as a joint venture between Anschutz Entertainment Group, owners of the Los Angeles Kings, and MGM Resorts International) as the potential home arena, although these rumors were denied by the league.[8][9][10] In November 2014, an unconfirmed report stated that the league had selected billionaire businessman Bill Foley and the Maloof family (former owners of the National Basketball Association's Sacramento Kings, and founders of the Palms Casino Resort) to lead the ownership group for a Las Vegas expansion team.[11][12] In December 2014, the NHL's board of governors decided to allow Foley to hold a season ticket drive to gauge interest in a Las Vegas team, though league commissioner Gary Bettman also warned the media to "[not] make more out of this than it is".[13][14] The season ticket drive began in February 2015, with interested parties placing ten percent deposits for the 2016–17 season.[15] The drive drew 5,000 deposits in its first day and a half, and reached its goal of 10,000 deposits by April 2015.[15][16]

In June 2015, the league officially opened the window for prospective owners to bid on expansion teams. By this point, Foley had secured more than 13,200 season-ticket deposits. Two expansion applications were submitted: Foley's application for a Las Vegas team, and a bid from Quebecor to revive the Quebec Nordiques at a new arena in Quebec City. Both Las Vegas and Quebec were invited to move into Phase II of the league expansion bid in August 2015,[17] and subsequently advanced to Phase III.

At the league owners' meeting on June 22, 2016, in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas expansion bid was approved by a unanimous vote, with play to begin in the 2017–18 NHL season.[18] The team became the first major professional sports franchise to be based in Las Vegas, and the first NHL expansion team since 2000.[19] Foley committed to pay the league's $500 million expansion fee[20] and began the process of hiring the team's principal staff and determining its official identity. Foley announced that former Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee would be the franchise's first general manager.[21] On November 22, 2016, the name was revealed as the Vegas Golden Knights.

Start of operations: 2017–present

On March 1, 2017 (coinciding with the league's trade deadline), the team completed its expansion fee payments and filings, making it eligible to formally begin operations such as free agent acquisition, and participation in league meetings.[22] Five days later, the Golden Knights made their first personnel move by signing Reid Duke to a three-year entry-level contract.[23][24]

Gerard Gallant 2018-02-04 2
Gerard Gallant coaching the Golden Knights during their inaugural 2017–18 season. Gallant was named as the head coach in April 2017.

The team announced inaugural head coach Gerard Gallant on April 13, 2017.[25] Over the next two months, the Golden Knights developed their farm system, announcing affiliations with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League and the Quad City Mallards of the ECHL.[26][27]

The team participated in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft on June 21, 2017, selecting an available player from all 30 teams in the NHL. The draft picks were announced at T-Mobile Arena during the NHL Awards ceremony. Some notable selections included goalie Marc-Andre Fleury from the Pittsburgh Penguins and winger James Neal from the Nashville Predators. At the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Cody Glass was the first player selected by the Golden Knights. The Golden Knights played their first game on October 6 against the Dallas Stars with Neal scoring the franchise's first two goals en route to their first victory.[28]

The team's inaugural home game was played on October 10, 2017, hosting the Arizona Coyotes as the second game of a home-and-home series. In the aftermath of the October 1 mass shooting, the pre-game ceremonies honored the victims of the attack, and the team issued an appeal for donations to its charitable arm.[29] With their 5–2 win, the Golden Knights increased their unbeaten streak to start the season to 3–0, an NHL record for an expansion team.[30][31][32] The Golden Knights are the first team in NHL history to have started their inaugural season winning eight of their first nine games. During their tenth game, goaltender Oscar Dansk was injured becoming the third Golden Knights' goaltender to be injured during the season after losing starters Fleury and the recently acquired Malcolm Subban, forcing the team to start a fourth goaltender in 11 games with Maxime Lagace.[33] Fifteen games into the season, Vadim Shipachyov became the first player to retire from the NHL as a Golden Knight when he decided to return to the Kontinental Hockey League. In December, the Golden Knights set another NHL expansion team record of six straight wins, a record they had previously missed when they lost their tenth game of the season, and established a new NHL record with eight straight wins.[34][35][36] On February 1, 2018, the Golden Knights set the expansion team record for wins in a debut season with 34 wins after only 50 games,[37] and then on February 21, 2018, set a record for most points by an expansion team in the inaugural season with 84.[38] Clinching a berth for the 2018 playoffs on March 26, the Golden Knights became the first team since the Edmonton Oilers and Hartford Whalers in the 1979–80 season to make the playoffs in their inaugural season in the league.[39] On March 31, the Knights clinched the Pacific Division title, becoming the first true expansion team in the four major sports to win its division in its inaugural season (not counting all-expansion divisions, as was the case in the 1967–68 season).[40] They had led the Pacific since December 23.

On April 11, the franchise won its first playoff game in a 1–0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in the first game of the series. Six days later on April 17, the franchise earned their first playoff series win against the Kings, winning the fourth game by a 1–0 score, which also became their first playoff series sweep. The Knights became the first team in NHL history to sweep their first playoff series in their inaugural season.[41] On May 6, 2018, the Golden Knights defeated the San Jose Sharks four-games-to-two, becoming the third team in NHL history to win multiple playoff series in their inaugural season, and advanced to the Western Conference Finals.[42] On May 20, Vegas defeated the Winnipeg Jets to win the Western Conference Finals in five games, becoming the third NHL team to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals in its inaugural season, after the Toronto Arenas in 1918 and the St. Louis Blues in 1968.[43] The Golden Knights would lose the Stanley Cup Finals to the Washington Capitals in five games.[44] The Golden Knights are the first, and to date only, true expansion team to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season. The Golden Knights are additionally the fastest true expansion team to advance to the finals in the history of all four major professional leagues in North America.[45]

Team identity

Logos, colors, and uniforms

Vegas Golden Knights secondary logo
The team's secondary logo

The team's primary logo is a barbute helmet, superimposed on a black and gold seal, with a V-shaped opening.[46][47] The secondary logo is two crossing swords behind a red star, designed to resemble the star found on the landmark Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign.[47]

The team's primary color is steel gray, which is said to represent "strength and durability".[47][1] The other team colors are gold, red (found in the Las Vegas skyline and at Red Rock Canyon), and black (for "power and intensity").[1]

The first uniforms in Golden Knights team history were unveiled publicly on June 20, 2017.[48]

Name

The team's name includes "Knights" as a homage to the Black Knights of the United States Military Academy, Foley's alma mater, and because knights were, according to Foley, "the epitome of the warrior class".[46][49] Foley had hoped to name his team the Black Knights, but dropped that plan after encountering resistance from federal officials. Foley was unable to call the team the "Vegas Knights" due to the London Knights owning the "Knights" name in Canada.[49][50][51]

"Golden" was included in the name because gold is, as Foley stated, the "No. 1 precious metal", and because Nevada is the largest gold-producing state in the country.[49][47] "Las" was omitted from the team's name because, according to Foley, residents tend to refer to the city simply as "Vegas", and because a four-word name would have been too long.[52][47]

The United States Army initially expressed concern after the Golden Knights' name was announced, because their parachute team uses the same nickname.[50] The Army later disputed the trademark and colors of the team during its first season, to which the team responded: "We are not aware of a single complaint from anyone attending our games that they were expecting to see the parachute team and not a professional hockey game."[53] An objection was also raised by the College of Saint Rose because its sports teams use the same name; the Vegas team's initial trademark application was denied as a result, but was later approved on appeal.[54] The team did clear the name with Clarkson University, which also uses the name Golden Knights.[55]

Mascot

Chance the Gila Monster
Chance, the team's mascot.

The Golden Knights' mascot is a Gila monster named Chance. He was unveiled at the team's second home game on October 13, 2017.[56][57] The team opted against using a knight for a mascot because it found that knight mascots used by other teams were not very child-friendly.[58]

Team information

Broadcasting

AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain is the regional television rightsholder for all Golden Knights games not broadcast nationally by NBCSN or NBC. The team's designated market includes Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, and parts of Arizona and California.[59][60][61] Golden Knights games on AT&T SportsNet are called by former Boston Bruins radio announcer Dave Goucher on play-by-play, and Shane Hnidy, who previously worked color for the Winnipeg Jets on TSN.[62]

The team has a three-year radio deal with Lotus Broadcasting.[63] Lotus airs the team's games on its Fox Sports Radio affiliate, KRLV 1340/98.9.[63] KRLV fronts a network of nine stations across Nevada, California, Arizona, and Utah.[64]

One game a week is also aired on the company's ESPN Deportes Radio affiliate, KENO 1460, making the team one of only three in the NHL to offer Spanish-language broadcasts.[65]

Minor league affiliate

On May 16, 2017, the Golden Knights entered a multi-year affiliation agreement with a minor league team, the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League. Like most NHL-AHL affiliation arrangements, the Golden Knights are able to transfer players to and from the Wolves.[26] Although the Wolves are the Golden Knights affiliate, the two teams do not share the same ownership. In addition to the Wolves, the Golden Knights were affiliated with the Quad City Mallards of the ECHL for the 2017–18 season,[27] however, the Mallards ceased operations after the one season.[66]

Season-by-season record

This is a complete list of the seasons completed by the Golden Knights. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Vegas Golden Knights seasons.

GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Season GP W L OTL Pts GF GA Finish Playoffs
2017–18 82 51 24 7 109 272 228 1st, Pacific Lost in Stanley Cup Finals, 1–4 (Capitals)

Players and personnel

Current roster

Updated June 20, 2018[67][68]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
41 France Bellemare, Pierre-EdouardPierre-Edouard Bellemare (A) LW L 33 2017 Le Blanc-Mesnil, France
45 United States Bischoff, JakeJake Bischoff D L 23 2017 Cambridge, Minnesota
40 United States Carpenter, RyanRyan Carpenter C/RW R 27 2017 Oviedo, Florida
28 Canada Carrier, WilliamWilliam Carrier LW L 23 2017 LaSalle, Quebec
21 Canada Eakin, CodyCody Eakin C L 27 2017 Winnipeg, Manitoba
5 Canada Engelland, DerykDeryk Engelland (A) D R 36 2017 Edmonton, Alberta
1 Canada Ferguson, DylanDylan Ferguson G L 19 2017 Lantzville, British Columbia
29 Canada Fleury, Marc-AndreMarc-Andre Fleury G L 33 2017 Sorel-Tracy, Quebec
7 Canada Garrison, JasonJason Garrison D L 33 2017 White Rock, British Columbia
56 Finland Haula, ErikErik Haula LW L 27 2017 Pori, Finland
77 Canada Hunt, BradBrad Hunt D L 29 2017 Maple Ridge, British Columbia
71 Sweden Karlsson, WilliamWilliam Karlsson C L 24 2017 Märsta, Sweden
33 Canada Lagace, MaximeMaxime Lagace G L 25 2017 Longueuil, Quebec
24 Sweden Lindberg, OscarOscar Lindberg C L 26 2017 Skellefteå, Sweden
81 Canada Marchessault, JonathanJonathan Marchessault C R 27 2017 Cap-Rouge, Quebec
25 United States Matteau, StefanStefan Matteau LW L 24 2017 Chicago, Illinois
3 Canada McNabb, BraydenBrayden McNabb D L 27 2017 Davidson, Saskatchewan
15 United States Merrill, JonJon Merrill D L 26 2017 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
6 Canada Miller, ColinColin Miller D R 25 2017 Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
18 Canada Neal, JamesJames Neal (A) RW L 30 2017 Whitby, Ontario
92 Czech Republic Nosek, TomasTomas Nosek C L 25 2017 Pardubice, Czech Republic
57 Canada Perron, DavidDavid Perron (A) LW R 30 2017 Sherbrooke, Quebec
73 Canada Pirri, BrandonBrandon Pirri C L 27 2017 Toronto, Ontario
75 Canada Reaves, RyanRyan Reaves RW R 31 2018 Winnipeg, Manitoba
8 Canada Reinhart, GriffinGriffin Reinhart D L 24 2017 West Vancouver, British Columbia
47 Switzerland Sbisa, LucaLuca Sbisa (A) D L 28 2017 Ozieri, Italy
88 United States Schmidt, NateNate Schmidt D L 26 2017 St. Cloud, Minnesota
19 Canada Smith, ReillyReilly Smith (A) RW L 27 2017 Etobicoke, Ontario
4 Canada Stoner, ClaytonClayton Stoner D L 33 2017 Port McNeill, British Columbia
30 Canada Subban, MalcolmMalcolm Subban G L 24 2017 Toronto, Ontario
90 Slovakia Tatar, TomasTomas Tatar LW L 27 2018 Ilava, Czechoslovakia
27 Canada Theodore, SheaShea Theodore D L 22 2017 Langley, British Columbia
89 United States Tuch, AlexAlex Tuch RW R 22 2017 Syracuse, New York
68 United States Tynan, T. J.T. J. Tynan F R 26 2017 Orland Park, Illinois


Head coaches

General managers

Team and league honors

Awards and trophies

Clarence S. Campbell Bowl

First-round draft picks

Retired numbers

The number 58 was retired by the team on March 31, 2018, in honor of the 58 victims killed in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting.[70]

The team is also not able to issue the jersey number 99 to any of its players as it was retired league-wide in honor of Wayne Gretzky at the 2000 NHL All-Star Game.[71]

Vegas Golden Knights retired numbers
No. Player Position Career No. retirement
58 Victims of 2017 Las Vegas shooting March 31, 2018

Records

Regular season scoring leaders

These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history.[72] Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.

  •  *  – current Golden Knights player
William Karlsson 2018-02-04 1
William Karlsson is the club's all-time regular season scoring leader, recording 78 points as a member of the Golden Knights.

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game

Points
Player Pos GP G A Pts P/G
William Karlsson* C 82 43 35 78 0.95
Jonathan Marchessault* C 77 27 48 75 0.97
David Perron* LW 70 16 50 66 0.94
Reilly Smith* RW 67 22 38 60 0.90
Erik Haula* LW 76 29 26 55 0.72
James Neal* LW 71 25 19 44 0.62
Colin Miller* D 82 10 31 41 0.50
Alex Tuch* RW 78 15 22 37 0.47
Nate Schmidt* D 76 5 31 36 0.47
Shea Theodore* D 61 6 23 29 0.48
Goals
Player Pos G
William Karlsson* C 43
Erik Haula* LW 29
Jonathan Marchessault* C 27
James Neal* LW 25
Reilly Smith* RW 22
David Perron* LW 16
Alex Tuch* RW 15
Cody Eakin* C 11
Colin Miller* D 10
Oscar Lindberg* C 9
Assists
Player Pos A
David Perron* LW 50
Jonathan Marchessault* C 48
Reilly Smith* RW 38
William Karlsson* C 35
Colin Miller* D 31
Nate Schmidt* D 31
Erik Haula* LW 26
Shea Theodore* D 23
Alex Tuch* RW 22
James Neal* LW 19

Individual

  • Most goals in a season: William Karlsson, 43 (2017–18)
  • Most assists in a season: David Perron, 50 (2017–18)
  • Most points in a season: William Karlsson , 78 (2017–18)
  • Most points in a season, defenseman: Colin Miller, 41 (2017–18)
  • Most points in a season, rookie: Alex Tuch, 37 (2017–18)
  • Most penalty minutes in a season: Colin Miller, 53 (2017–18)
  • Best +/- in a season: William Karlsson, 49 (2017-18)
  • Most wins in a season: Marc-Andre Fleury, 29 (2017-18)
  • Most shutouts in a season: Marc-André Fleury, 4 (2017–18)
  • Lowest GAA in a season (min 30 GP): Marc-André Fleury, 2.25 (2017–18)
  • Best SV% in a season (min 30 GP): Marc-André Fleury, .927 (2017–18)

See also

References

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