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Vegas Golden Knights

Background and Institution

The NHL has had a presence in Las Vegas since 1991; that calendar year, the town hosted the first outdoor game involving two NHL teams — a preseason exhibition between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers outside Caesars Palace. The Kings would then 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 because 2009. [6] In 2009, the press speculated about a strategy involving Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Nevada. [7]
Rumors of a Las Vegas expansion group surfaced again in August 2014, pointing to a new indoor arena on the Strip (constructed as a joint venture between Anschutz Entertainment Group, owners of the Los Angeles Kings, and MGM Resorts International) as the possible home stadium, 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 this National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings, and founders of the Palms Casino Resort) to direct 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 push to gauge interest at a Las Vegas group, although league commissioner Gary Bettman also cautioned the press to”[not] make more out of this than it is”. [13][14] The season ticket drive started in February 2015, together with interested parties putting ten percent deposits for the 2016–17 season. [15] The drive brought 5,000 deposits in its first day and a half, and reached its aim of 10,000 deposits by April 2015. [15][16]
In June 2015, the team opened the window for prospective owners to bid on growth teams. With this stage, Foley had secured more than 13,200 season-ticket deposits. Two growth programs were submitted: Foley’s application for a Las Vegas team, and a bid from Quebecor to revive the Quebec Nordiques in a brand new arena in Quebec City. The two Las Vegas and Quebec were invited to move into Stage II of the league expansion bid in August 2015,[17] and subsequently advanced to Stage III.
At the league owners’ meeting on June 22, 2016, at Las Vegas, the Las Vegas expansion bidding was approved with a unanimous vote, with play to start at the 2017–18 NHL season. [18] The group became the first major professional sports franchise to be established in Las Vegas, and the first NHL expansion team since 2000. [19] Foley dedicated to cover the league’s $500 million expansion fee[20] and started the practice of hiring the group’s principal personnel and determining its official identity. Foley announced that former Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee are the franchise’s first general manager. [21] On November 22, 2016, the name was shown as the Vegas Golden Knights.
Start of operations: 2017–present On March 1, 2017 (coinciding with the league’s trade deadline), the group finished its expansion fee payments and filings, which makes it eligible to officially start operations like free agent acquisition, and involvement in league meetings. [22] Five days later, the Golden Knights made their first employees move by signing Reid Duke to a three-year entry contract. [23][24]
Gerard Gallant coaching the Golden Knights throughout 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 plantation 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 selections were announced at T-Mobile Arena during the NHL awards ceremony. Some noteworthy selections included goalie Marc-Andre Fleury from the Pittsburgh Penguins and winger James Neal in the Nashville Predators. At the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Cody Glass was the first player chosen 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 success. [28]
The group’s inaugural home game was played on October 10, 2017, hosting the Arizona Coyotes as the second match of a home-and-home series. In the wake of the October 1 mass shooting, the pre-game ceremonies honored the victims of the assault, along with the group issued an appeal for donations to its charitable arm. [29] With their 5–2 triumph, the Golden Knights improved their unbeaten streak to begin the year 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 matches. Throughout their inaugural game, goaltender Oscar Dansk was injured getting the third Golden Knights’ goaltender to be injured during the season after losing starters Fleury and the recently obtained 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 participant to retire in the NHL as a Golden Knight when he decided to go back to the Kontinental Hockey League. Back in December, the Golden Knights put another NHL expansion team record of six consecutive wins, a record they had previously missed once they lost their tenth game of the year, and launched a new NHL record with eight straight wins. [34][35][36] On February 1, 2018, the Golden Knights place the growth team record for wins in a debut year with 34 wins after only 50 games,[37] and later on February 21, 2018, set a record for most points with an expansion team from the inaugural season with 84. [38] Clinching a berth for its 2018 playoffs on March 26, the Golden Knights became the first team since the Edmonton Oilers and Hartford Whalers from the 1979–80 year 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 main sports to acquire its division at its inaugural year (not counting all-expansion divisions, as was the situation in the 1967–68 year ). [40] They’d headed the Pacific since December 23, 2017.
On April 11, the franchise won its first playoff game at a 1–0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in the first match of the set. Six days later on April 17, the franchise made their initial playoff series win against the Kings, winning the fourth match with 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 first season. [41] On May 6, 2018, the Golden Knights defeated the San Jose Sharks four-games-to-two, getting the third team in NHL history to win multiple playoff series in their inaugural year, 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, getting the third NHL team to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals in its first season, after the Toronto Arenas at 1918 and the St. Louis Blues at 1968. [43] The Golden Knights would lose the Stanley Cup Finals to the Washington Capitals in five games. [44]
In the 2018–19 season, the Golden Knights returned to the playoffs as the third seed of their Pacific Division. They were defeated at the First Round in seven games by the San Jose Sharks, whom the Golden Knights defeated in the Second Round of their previous season. [45]

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