This is the team that almost turned the sports world upside down: The Vegas Golden Knights. As one of the newest expansion teams, Vegas did what most, if not all, expansion teams failed to do: almost win the championship – the Stanley Cup for the NHL. The Vegas Golden Knights’ team stats revealed a much better team than the NHL odds predicted.
Though Vegas ultimately came away shorthanded, the way it built its franchise opened fans’ eyes to the “new NHL”. The Golden Knights are a formidable team that continues to experience success making “Sin City” one of the best hockey destinations.
Vegas Golden Knights Stats & Analysis
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Team Ranked Stats
All-Time Vegas Golden Knights Records
- William Karlsson – Goals: 43 (2017-18).
- Jonathan Marchessault – Games: 356.
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Vegas Golden Knights Stats & History
The Vegas Golden Knights began operation in the year 2017. But there had already been a strong hockey presence in Las Vegas beginning in 1991. The city hosted the first outdoor game in Las Vegas, between two NHL teams: a preseason game between the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers. The NHL Awards are frequently held here as well.
In 2009, rumors of an expansion team to Vegas began to surface. Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer had reportedly hoped to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Vegas. When that did not happen, the rumors resurfaced in 2014 when a new indoor arena – the T-Mobile Arena – began construction on the Las Vegas Strip.
Bill Foley and the Maloof Family, founders of the Palms Casino Resort and owners of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, led an ownership group for the expansion team. In 2016, Vegas was unanimously approved at the league owners’ meeting.
The franchise appointed former Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee as its first GM. McPhee would hire Gerard Gallant as the first coach. During the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, McPhee would make several shrewd moves, which led to Vegas acquiring brilliant veterans like Marc-Andre Fleury and budding stars like Jonathan Marchessault.
Vegas built an advanced team for an expansion franchise. But both fans and media still projected the Knights to be among the worst teams in the NHL. It didn’t take long for the team to shatter these expectations, since it would win eight of its first nine games. The Knights defeated established teams like Boston and St. Louis.
Several players like Marchessault and William Karlsson emerged as stars. Karlsson led the Golden Knights’ team stats in goals. Fleury put together the best season of his career and Vegas would make a “Cinderella Run” all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Despite winning the first game, Vegas would lose to the Capitals in five. Despite the loss, Vegas’ inaugural season was a riveting success. The franchise has continued to stay active and competitive in the subsequent seasons. If it continues to make sly moves, it will stay a powerhouse in the league.