Vegas Golden Knights

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Vegas Golden Knights
founding June 22, 2016
history Vegas Golden Knights
since 2017
Stadion T-Mobile Arena
Location Paradise , Nevada
Team colors Gold Steel Gray Red Black

league National Hockey League
Conference Western Conference
division Pacific Division
Head coach CanadaCanada Peter DeBoer
Team captain only assistant captains
General manager CanadaCanada Kelly McCrimmon
owner Black Knight Sports & Entertainment
Cooperations Henderson Silver Knights ( AHL )
Fort Wayne Comets ( ECHL )
Stanley Cups no
Conference title 2017/18
Division title 2017/18 , 2019/20

The Vegas Golden Knights ( IPA : [ˈveɪ gəs ˈɡoʊl.dən naɪts] ; German: Goldene Ritter ) are an American ice hockey franchise of the National Hockey League from Paradise in the state of Nevada . It was founded on June 22nd, 2016 and started the 2017/18 season as the 31st team in the league. The team wears their home games in the Las Vegas Strip nearby T-Mobile Arena and is represented by the colors gold, steel gray, red and black. In their first season, the Golden Knights surprisingly established themselves as one of the best teams in the NHL, setting numerous records for an expansion team and moving into the playoffs to the final of the Stanley Cup . There they were subject to the Washington Capitals .


First steps in ice hockey in Nevada

With the transfer of Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988, interest in ice hockey increased rapidly in the southern US states. In the following years, with the then Mighty Ducks of Anaheim , Tampa Bay Lightning , Florida Panthers and San Jose Sharks, a number of newly founded franchises were established in areas south of the country ( Sun Belt ) . The city of Las Vegas first came into contact with the National Hockey League in 1991 when the first open-air game in league history between the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers took place in the parking lot of Caesars Palace , albeit as a preparatory game .

In 1993, the first minor league franchise was finally settled in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Thunder played in the International Hockey League for six years until they were dissolved in 1999 . Their venue was the Thomas & Mack Center . In addition, the MGM Grand Garden Arena has held the Frozen Fury , a preparatory game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Colorado Avalanche , in the desert metropolis every year since 1997 . The gap that the Thunder had left with their dissolution was filled by the Las Vegas Wranglers from 2003 , who were based in the third-class ECHL until 2015 . In addition, the NHL Awards have been presented annually in various hotels in Las Vegas since 2009.

Expansion to Las Vegas

The T-Mobile Arena - home of the Golden Knights

As early as 2009 there was speculation about whether a group of investors around film producer Jerry Bruckheimer was about to relocate the then Phoenix Coyotes to Las Vegas, but this was not confirmed.

It was not until August 2014, after the construction of the new T-Mobile arena had started, that rumors spread again that Las Vegas would be awarded a new NHL franchise in the near future. With the Maloof family , which had previously been owned by the Sacramento Kings from the National Basketball Association , and Bill Foley , a community of interest crystallized around the possible ownership of the team. Foley confirmed in December 2014 that he had been able to win Wayne Gretzky as a consultant for the project and that he preferred the nickname Black Knights . In February 2015, the Hockey Vision Las Vegas group finally began selling season tickets on behalf of the Maloof Foley clan in order to test the market for a franchise in Las Vegas. Potential buyers were able to pay a share of ten percent on season tickets. The group targeted sales of 10,000 tickets. The mark of 5,000 sales was already reached in the first 36 hours and the mark of 10,000 was finally cracked in April, so that an attempt was now made to bring 13,000 tickets onto the market.

On June 24, 2015, the NHL officially confirmed that it was immediately open to anyone interested in joining an expansion team . By then, Foley had already sold over 13,200 “virtual” tickets, so the official confirmation from the NHL on July 21, 2015 that Las Vegas had applied for a new team was no longer a big surprise. With the Franco-Canadian metropolis of Québec City , which the Nordiques de Québec , who had migrated to Colorado in 1995 , wanted to relocate to the city, there was only one other official competitor. After several application phases, the league confirmed on June 22, 2016 that the application from Las Vegas had been successful and that a 31st franchise would be added to the league at the beginning of the 2017/18 season . This made Las Vegas the first franchise of the four major North American leagues (NHL, NFL , NBA , MLB ) to be located in the state of Nevada. At the same time, the regulations for the NHL Expansion Draft 2017 were set, in which the new team was able to recruit certain players from the squads of the other 30 teams on June 21, 2017. In the meantime, George McPhee was hired as the first general manager, who was henceforth responsible, among other things, for the composition of the new team.

The announcement of the name Golden Knights as well as the team colors and the logo took until November 22, 2016, before majority owner Bill Foley officially confirmed this. In addition, the team was given the name Vegas instead of Las Vegas , as this shortened form is the usual name of the city among the locals. As a result, the franchise fulfilled all the necessary formalities for acceptance into gaming operations and dealt intensively with the expiry of the expansion draft. On March 1, 2017, management finally made the final payment to the NHL and submitted the missing documents, thereby granting permission to attend official league meetings and - with certain restrictions - to carry out transactions with other teams and obligations of players . Five days later the franchise signed the first player for the 2017/18 season with the Canadian Reid Duke of the Brandon Wheat Kings from the Canadian junior league Western Hockey League . A little later, Wadim Schipatschow and Tomáš Hyka followed , before the team finally carried out the Expansion Draft and selected Marc-André Fleury and James Neal there , as well as numerous transfers with the other teams in the league. In addition, during this period Gerard Gallant was introduced as the first head coach and the cooperation with the Chicago Wolves from the American Hockey League and the Quad City Mallards from the ECHL was established as farm teams .

Debut season 2017/18

Unexpected records and playoff successes

Before the beginning of the first season of the Golden Knights, there was consensus in sports coverage that the new team would be among the weakest teams in the league for the time being. This assessment was based, among other things, on empirical values, since the history of the four major North American leagues (NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB) had shown that expansion teams usually need several years before they can keep up with the established teams. As a result, the Golden Knights' debut season was much more successful than expected, so the team set a number of records for an expansion team and, to the surprise of the 2017/18 season, developed.

Marc-André Fleury, regular goalkeeper

On October 6, 2017, Vegas played its first competitive game and became the first expansion franchise since the Ottawa Senators in 1992, which started with a win in the league, with the 2-1 success against the Dallas Stars . The team's first games, especially the first home game on October 10, 2017, were marked by the commemoration of the mass murder in Las Vegas that had occurred just a few days earlier. In addition , they blocked jersey number 58 in honor of the victims in March 2018. As a result, the Golden Knights won six of their first seven games, setting the first NHL record for an expansion team. Subsequently, the team continued their success, although they had to complain about serious injury-related failures in the goalkeeping position, especially in the first half of the season. In the meantime, four goalkeepers - Marc-André Fleury , Malcolm Subban , Oscar Dansk and Maxime Lagacé - were injured, so that Vegas even had to fall back on Dylan Ferguson from the junior division, while Fleury, the regular first goalkeeper, was only able to play a little more than half of all season games. In addition, Wadim Shipachev failed to establish himself in the NHL squad, although he was one of the team's highest-paid players and was traded as a potential star; he returned to Russia in November.

Despite all this, the Golden Knights finished their first NHL season in first place in their division, which the Philadelphia Flyers had last achieved in the 1967/68 season . At that time, however, all six new teams played in a division, so that one of the teams was sure to take first place. Among already established teams, division victory as an expansion team was only achieved by the New York Rangers in the 1926/27 season . In addition, the Golden Knights recorded 51 wins and 109 points, which were also records for a debut season, and ended the season in fifth place in the league, after having even led the entire NHL in points. As a result, the team qualified for the 2018 playoffs , which also happened last after the big league expansion in 1967 and was guaranteed by the mode at that time for several expansion teams. In the first round, Vegas managed a sweep against the Los Angeles Kings , which no new NHL team had managed before the team reached the final after defeating the San Jose Sharks (4: 2) and the Winnipeg Jets (4: 1) to move in for the Stanley Cup . This was last achieved by the St. Louis Blues in the playoffs in 1968 , also guaranteed by the format of the post-season .

In the final of the playoffs, the Golden Knights lost 4-1 to the Washington Capitals , who won their first Stanley Cup.

Reasons for success

William Karlsson, best scorer of the debut season

The media has already identified a number of reasons for the Golden Knights' immediate success. Undoubtedly, the Expansion Draft regulations were much stricter for the established teams than they were in 2000 , when the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets entered the NHL. Each franchise was now allowed to protect fewer players from a selection (see NHL Expansion Draft 2017 / Protected Players ), so that Vegas was able to put together a higher-quality team compared to previous expansion teams. Nevertheless, it was emphasized that clear misjudgments by the other teams in the context of transfers in the context of the Expansion Draft led to a strengthening of the Golden Knights. Mentioned in this context are the Florida Panthers , who not only submitted Jonathan Marchessault in the draft, but also sent Reilly Smith to Las Vegas for the election of Marchessault to protect other players from voting. Marchessault and Smith were used by the Golden Knights in the first line of attack and scored 75 and 60 points scorer, respectively.

Gerard Gallant, first head coach

There they played together with William Karlsson , who moved from the Columbus Blue Jackets to Nevada and led the team in goals (43) and points (78), while he more than tripled his previous career best in points (25) . Other players acquired as part of the draft, who in retrospect tend to be underestimated as before, are Erik Haula and Alex Tuch (both Minnesota), Nate Schmidt ( Washington ), Shea Theodore ( Anaheim ), Colin Miller ( Boston ) and David Perron ( St. Louis). A total of 13 of the 22 players who completed more than 30 games for Vegas achieved their respective career best in scorer points.

In addition to the performance of General Manager George McPhee in putting the roster together, head coach Gerard Gallant, who previously also worked in Florida, is a key factor in the success. Gallant lets the Golden Knights play a system with high speed and aggressive fore-checking , while at the same time succeeding in forming a unit out of the newly formed team. In this regard, it was also noted that the team's success almost without exception depends on teamwork rather than the performance of individual players, since (with the exception of Marc-André Fleury) no player has star status.

Last but not least, the Golden Knights managed to get the local population enthusiastic about the team and ice hockey right from the start. The commitment of the franchise after the massacre in Las Vegas, when the team started various charitable activities under the motto Vegas Strong and raised funds for donations , was particularly important .

Further course (since 2018)

In the off-season of summer 2018, James Neal and David Perron, among others, two well-known top performers from the previous year left the team as free agents . At the same time, the Golden Knights managed to convince Paul Stastny of the Winnipeg Jets to work in Las Vegas as part of the Free Agency; the attacker signed a three-year contract. In addition, Max Pacioretty , up to this point captain of the Canadiens de Montréal , was hired a little later as part of an exchange deal. Once under the Trade Deadline additionally Mark Stone was acquired, the team qualified again for the playoffs , but where in the first round of the San Jose Sharks 3: defeated fourth A little later, George McPhee stepped down as general manager to Kelly McCrimmon .

McCrimmon surprisingly made the decision in January 2020 to dismiss head coach Gerard Gallant and replace him with Peter DeBoer , who had been with the San Jose Sharks until a few weeks earlier . At this point, the Golden Knights finished fifth in their division, only three points behind first place, while Gallant was scheduled to train the Pacific Division in the upcoming NHL All-Star Game .

In February 2020, the Golden Knights announced they had acquired the AHL franchise from the San Antonio Rampage . After the league approved, the team was relocated to Henderson , which is also in Nevada , and has since acted as the Henderson Silver Knights as the new farm team.

Achievements and Awards

Sporting successes

Conference Championships season
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl 2018
Division Championships season
Pacific Division 2017/18

In their first season, the Golden Knights won the Pacific Division with 109 points and prevailed in the conference final of the subsequent playoffs against the Winnipeg Jets , so that they received the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl . They also ended the shortened 2019/20 season at the top of the Pacific Division.

NHL Awards

Due to the successes of the debut season, four actors of the Golden Knights were honored in the context of the NHL Awards 2018 . Trainer Gerard Gallant and General Manager George McPhee each received the Jack Adams Award and the NHL General Manager of the Year Award as Personality of the Year in their functions. In addition, William Karlsson was honored with the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for high sporting standards and Deryk Engelland with the Mark Messier Leadership Award for outstanding leadership qualities.

NHL All-Star Game nominations

year Surname
2018 Marc-André Fleury
James Neal
Gerard Gallant
2019 Marc-André Fleury

For NHL All-Star Game in 2018 were Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal invited, while Gerard Gallant led the team of the Pacific Division. Fleury was also nominated the following year.

Season statistics

Abbreviations: GP = games, W = wins, L = defeats, OTL = defeats after overtime or shootout , Pkt = points, GF = goals scored, GA = goals conceded

season GP W. L. OTL Pts GF GA space Playoffs
2017/18 82 51 24 7th 109 272 228 1st, Pacific Division Conference quarter-finals win, 4-0 ( Los Angeles )
conference semi-finals, 4-2 ( San Jose )
conference finals, 4-1 ( Winnipeg )
defeat Stanley Cup finals, 4-1 ( Washington )
2018/19 82 43 32 7th 93 246 228 3rd, Pacific Division Conference quarter-finals lost, 3-4 ( San Jose )
total 164 94 56 14th 202 518 456 2 playoff appearances
5 series: 3 wins, 2 losses
27 games: 16 wins, 11 losses

Franchise records

Selected player records of the franchise over the entire career as well as over individual seasons are listed below.


Surname number
Most games William Karlsson * 164 (in 2 seasons)
Most goals William Karlsson * 67
Most templates Jonathan Marchessault * 82
Most of the points William Karlsson * & Jonathan Marchessault * 134 each
Most penalty minutes Brayden McNabb * 104
Most shutouts Marc-André Fleury * 12

* active player in the Golden Knights; Status after the end of the 2018/19 season


Surname number season
Most goals William Karlsson 43 2017/18
Most templates David Perron 50 2017/18
Most of the points William Karlsson 78 (43 goals + 35 assists) 2017/18
Most points as a rookie Alex cloth 37 (15 goals + 22 assists) 2017/18
Most points as a defender Colin Miller 41 (10 goals + 31 assists) 2017/18
Most penalty minutes Ryan Reaves 74 2018/19
Most wins as a goalkeeper Marc-André Fleury 35 2018/19


Abbreviations: GC = games, W = wins, L = defeats, OTL = defeats according to
overtime , Pts = points, Pts% = point quota

Surname season Regular season Playoffs
GC W. L. OTL Pts Pts% GC W. L.
Gerard Gallant 2017 / 18–2019 / 20 * 213 118 75 20th 256 .601 27 16 11
Peter DeBoer since 2019/20 *

* Change during the current season

The franchise appointed Gerard Gallant, a Canadian, as the first head coach on April 13, 2017 . He had previously looked after the Columbus Blue Jackets and Florida Panthers in this position . Gallant was fired despite two successful years in January 2020 and replaced by Peter DeBoer .

General manager

Shortly after business began, the franchise hired NHL veteran George McPhee as the team's first general manager. McPhee had been the general manager of the Washington Capitals for many years . He was assisted by Kelly McCrimmon , who took over the position of "GM" in May 2019, while McPhee stayed with the organization as President of Hockey Operations .

Surname season
George McPhee 2017 / 18–2018 / 19
Kelly McCrimmon since 2019/20


Squad for the 2019/20 season

As of December 26, 2019

No. Nat. player Item Date of birth in org. since place of birth
29 CanadaCanada Marc-André Fleury G November 28, 1984 2017 Sorel , Quebec , Canada
SwedenSweden Robin Lehner G July 24, 1991 2020 Gothenburg , Sweden
5 CanadaCanada Deryk EngellandA D. 0April 3, 1982 2017 Edmonton , Alberta , Canada
14th CanadaCanada Nicolas Hague D. 05th December 1998 2017 Kitchener , Ontario , Canada
22nd CanadaCanada Nick Holden D. May 15, 1987 2018 St. Albert , Alberta , Canada
23 United StatesUnited States Alec Martinez D. July 26, 1987 2020 Rochester Hills , Michigan , USA
3 CanadaCanada Brayden McNabb D. January 21, 1991 2017 Davidson , Saskatchewan , Canada
15th United StatesUnited States Jon Merrill D. 03rd February 1992 2017 Oklahoma City , Oklahoma , USA
88 United StatesUnited States Nate Schmidt D. July 16, 1991 2017 St. Cloud , Minnesota , USA
27 CanadaCanada Shea Theodore D. 0August 3, 1995 2017 Langley , British Columbia , Canada
28 CanadaCanada William Carrier LW December 20, 1994 2017 LaSalle , Québec , Canada
CanadaCanada Nick cousins C. July 20, 1993 2020 Belleville , Ontario , Canada
9 CanadaCanada Cody Glass C. 0April 1, 1999 2017 Winnipeg , Manitoba , Canada
71 SwedenSweden William Karlsson C. 0January 8, 1993 2017 Märsta , Sweden
81 CanadaCanada Jonathan Marchessault RW December 27, 1990 2017 Cap Rouge , Quebec , Canada
92 Czech RepublicCzech Republic Tomáš Nosek LW 0September 1, 1992 2017 Pardubice , Czechoslovakia
67 United StatesUnited States Max Pacioretty LW November 20, 1988 2018 New Canaan , Connecticut , USA
75 CanadaCanada Ryan Reaves RW January 20, 1987 2018 Winnipeg , Manitoba , Canada
19th CanadaCanada Reilly SmithA RW 0April 1, 1991 2017 Mimico , Ontario , Canada
26th CanadaCanada Paul Stastny C. December 27, 1985 2018 Québec , Québec , Canada
17th CanadaCanada Chandler Stephenson C. April 22, 1994 2019 Saskatoon , Saskatchewan , Canada
61 CanadaCanada Mark StoneA. RW May 13, 1992 2019 Winnipeg , Manitoba , Canada
7th RussiaRussia Valentin Sykov LW May 15, 1995 2018 Saint Petersburg , Russia
89 United StatesUnited States Alex cloth RW May 10, 1996 2017 Syracuse , New York , USA

Team captains

At the beginning of their debut season, the Vegas Golden Knights competed without a permanent team captain and instead nominated six equal assistant captains . At home games these were James Neal , Reilly Smith and Jason Garrison , while away from home Deryk Engelland , Luca Sbisa and David Perron wear the A on their chest. In the following season 2018/19 Reilly Smith, Deryk Engelland, Pierre-Édouard Bellemare and Max Pacioretty alternated as assistant captains .

Blocked jersey numbers

No. Surname Lock date
58 Victims of mass murder in Las Vegas (2017) March 31, 2018
99 Wayne Gretzky February 6, 2000 (league-wide)

In their first season, the Vegas Golden Knights blocked jersey number 58, honoring the 58 fatalities in the mass murder in Las Vegas , which occurred a few days before the team's NHL debut. In addition, Wayne Gretzky's number 99 has been banned throughout the league since 2000.

First-round voting rights in the NHL Entry Draft

Surname year Draft position
Cody Glass 2017 6th
Nick Suzuki 13.
Erik Brännström 15th
Peyton Cancer 2019 17th

In their first ever NHL Entry Draft in 2017 , the Golden Knights had three first-round voting rights through transfer deals as part of the Expansion Draft, with which they selected the Canadian centers Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki and the Swedish defender Erik Brännström . In the following year , they gave their only first-round vote to the Detroit Red Wings , before the Canadian attacker Peyton Krebs followed in the 2019 draft .

Web links

Commons : Vegas Golden Knights  - Collection of Pictures, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. Top notes to know: NHL headed to Las Vegas . ESPN . June 22, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  2. Steve Carp: Golden Knights make final payment to NHL ahead of trade deadline. (No longer available online.) Las Vegas Review Journal , March 1, 2017, archived from the original on March 7, 2017 ; accessed on March 6, 2017 (English). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Golden Knights Sign Reid Duke To Entry-Level Contract. The Brandon Wheat Kings forward signs in Vegas in the first player transaction in Golden Knights history. Vegas Golden Knights, March 6, 2017, accessed March 6, 2017 .
  4. 2017 NHL Season Preview: Vegas Golden Knights., accessed May 22, 2018 .
  5. THN's 2017-18 Season Preview: Vegas Golden Knights., August 31, 2017, accessed May 22, 2018 .
  6. Tal Pinchevsky: 2017-18 season preview: Vegas Golden Knights., September 27, 2017, accessed May 22, 2018 .
  7. Neil Paine: Vegas Has The Best Expansion Team In The History Of Pro Sports, And It's Not Close., January 16, 2018, accessed May 22, 2018 .
  8. ^ Danny Webster: Golden Knights defeat Blues in OT, set record., October 21, 2017, accessed October 22, 2017 .
  9. Adam Gretz: Vegas' goaltending situation is starting to get absurd., November 15, 2017, accessed October 22, 2017 .
  10. Alec Gearty: NHL rumors: Golden Knights' Vadim Shipachyov heading back to Russia., November 4, 2017, accessed May 22, 2018 .
  11. Sean McIndoe: Down Goes Brown: NHL Expansion Draft regret rankings., January 3, 2018, accessed on May 22, 2018 .
  12. ^ Andrew Knoll: Built to Win, the Golden Knights Did So Sooner Than Expected., April 10, 2018, accessed May 22, 2018 .
  13. Michael Traikos: Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant creating a golden opportunity for himself and his players., January 26, 2018, accessed May 22, 2018 .
  14. ^ Rory Carroll: NHL: Vegas Golden Knights reveal the soul of Sin City., May 17, 2018, accessed May 22, 2018 .
  15. Introducing The Henderson Silver Knights., May 29, 2020, accessed on May 29, 2020 .