Vegas Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights are a professional ice hockey team based in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the West Division. Founded as an expansion team, they began play in the 2017–18 NHL season. The team is owned by Black Knight Sports & Entertainment, a consortium led by Bill Foley and the Maloof family. The team plays its home games at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. Unlike most expansion teams, the Golden Knights have achieved great success in their first three seasons as a professional team, reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in their first year in operation. With 13 playoff wins en route to the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals, they set the record for the most postseason wins by a team in their first playoff appearance. They were defeated by the Washington Capitals in that series, four games to one.
|Vegas Golden Knights|
|2020–21 Vegas Golden Knights season|
|History||Vegas Golden Knights|
|Home arena||T-Mobile Arena|
|Colors||Steel grey, gold, red, black|
|Media||AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain West (TV) |
KKGK (Fox Sports 1340/98.9) (English radio)
KENO (ESPN Deportes 1460) (Spanish radio)
|Owner(s)||Black Knight Sports and Entertainment (Bill Foley (70%)|
Maloof family (30%))
|General manager||Kelly McCrimmon|
|Head coach||Peter DeBoer|
|Minor league affiliates||Henderson Silver Knights (AHL)|
Fort Wayne Komets (ECHL)
|Conference championships||1 (2017–18)|
|Division championships||2 (2017–18, 2019–20)|
Background and establishment
The NHL has had a presence in Las Vegas since 1991; that year, the city hosted the first outdoor game between two NHL teams – a preseason exhibition between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers outside Caesars Palace. The Kings would subsequently organize "Frozen Fury" – a series of annual preseason games in Las Vegas against the Colorado Avalanche. The NHL Awards ceremonies have been held in Las Vegas since 2009. In 2009, the media speculated about a plan involving Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Nevada.
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. 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. 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". The season ticket drive began in February 2015, with interested parties placing ten percent deposits for the 2016–17 season. The drive drew 5,000 deposits in its first day and a half, and reached its goal of 10,000 deposits by April 2015.
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, 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. The team became the first major professional sports franchise to be based in Las Vegas, and the first NHL expansion team since 2000. Foley committed to pay the league's $500 million expansion fee 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. 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. Five days later, the Golden Knights made their first personnel move by signing Reid Duke to a three-year entry-level contract.
The team announced inaugural head coach Gerard Gallant on April 13, 2017. 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.
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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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, and then on February 21, 2018, set a record for most points by an expansion team in the inaugural season with 84. 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. 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). They had led the Pacific since December 23, 2017.
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. 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. 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. The Golden Knights would lose the Stanley Cup Finals to the Washington Capitals in five games; despite this loss, the team won 13 postseason games that year, breaking the record for the most wins by an expansion team in their first playoff appearance (which was previously held by the Florida Panthers when they won 12 games in their first postseason appearance in the 1996 playoffs).
During the 2019–20 season, the Golden Knights fired head coach Gallant and replaced him with recently fired Sharks' head coach Peter DeBoer on January 15, 2020. After earning the top seed in the Western Conference during the round robin of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, the Golden Knights advanced to the Conference Finals before falling to the Dallas Stars in five games.
Logos, colors, and uniforms
The team's primary logo is a barbute helmet, superimposed on a black and gold shield, with a V-shaped opening. 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.
The team's primary color is steel gray, which is said to represent "strength and durability". The other team colors are gold, red (found in the Las Vegas skyline and at Red Rock Canyon), and black (for "power and intensity").
The first uniforms in Golden Knights team history were unveiled publicly on June 20, 2017. Home uniforms are steel gray with black, gold and red stripes, while road uniforms are white with steel gray, gold and red stripes. Shoulders feature the alternate swords logo. On October 2, 2020, the Golden Knights introduced a gold alternate uniform, essentially a palette swap of the road uniforms with gold and white switching places.
The Golden Knights also released a special "Reverse Retro" alternate uniform. Due to the team's short history, the Golden Knights chose to honor the defunct International Hockey League's Las Vegas Thunder in creating the uniform, using a red base and featuring the "crossing swords" logo in front.
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". 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.
"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. "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.
The United States Army opposed the team's trademark registration because their exhibition parachute team uses the same nickname; they dropped their opposition after negotiating a trademark coexistence agreement with the team. 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. The team did clear the name with Clarkson University, which also uses the name Golden Knights.
The Golden Knights' mascot is a Gila monster named Chance. He was unveiled at the team's second home game on October 13, 2017. 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.
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. 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.
The team has a three-year radio deal with Lotus Broadcasting. Lotus airs the team's games on its Fox Sports Radio affiliate, KKGK 1340/98.9. KKGK fronts a network of nine stations across Nevada, California, Arizona, and Utah.
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. 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, however, the Mallards ceased operations after the one season.
On February 6, 2020, Spurs Sports & Entertainment announced the sale of the San Antonio Rampage franchise to the Golden Knights organization. It was later announced on February 28, 2020, that the Rampage franchise was approved to relocate to the Henderson/Las Vegas area by the American Hockey League. On May 28, 2020, the name of the relocated franchise was revealed to be the Henderson Silver Knights, mimicking the logo style and aura of their parent club. The shield-shaped logo features a silver-colored Destrier, with eyes that are the same color gold used in the logo for the Golden Knights. The Silver Knights will begin play in the 2020–21 season at Orleans Arena as work on a new 6,000 seat arena currently named Henderson Events Center begins.
This is a 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
|2017–18||82||51||24||7||109||272||228||1st, Pacific||Lost in Stanley Cup Finals, 1–4 (Capitals)|
|2018–19||82||43||32||7||93||249||230||3rd, Pacific||Lost in First Round, 3–4 (Sharks)|
|2019–20||71||39||24||8||86||227||211||1st, Pacific||Lost in Conference Finals, 1–4 (Stars)|
Players and personnel
- Mark Stone, 2021–present
Team and league honors
Awards and trophies
- William Karlsson: 2017–18
- Deryk Engelland: 2017–18
- George McPhee: 2017–18
First-round draft picks
- 2017: Cody Glass (6th overall)
- 2017: Nick Suzuki (13th overall)
- 2017: Erik Brannstrom (15th overall)
- 2019: Peyton Krebs (17th overall)
- 2020: Brendan Brisson (29th overall)
Regular season scoring leaders
These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.
- – current Golden Knights player
Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game
- 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: Shea Theodore, 46 (2019–20)
- Most points in a season, rookie: Alex Tuch, 37 (2017–18)
- Most penalty minutes in a season: Ryan Reaves, 74 (2018–19)
- Best +/– in a season: William Karlsson, 49 (2017–18)
- Most wins in a season: Marc-Andre Fleury, 35 (2018–19)
- Most shutouts in a season: Marc-André Fleury, 8 (2018–19)
- Lowest GAA in a season (minimum 30 games played): Marc-Andre Fleury, 2.25 (2017–18)
- Best SV% in a season (minimum 30 games played): Marc-Andre Fleury, .927 (2017–18)
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The team's colors - steel grey, gold, red and black - reflect the community and the focus of the team:...
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Vegas become just the third team in NHL history to win multiple series in its first season.
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