Also known as VGK, the Vegas Golden Knights is an American ice hockey team located in Las Vegas, Nevada. The team competes in the National Hockey League as part of the Western Conference, in the Pacific Division. The Golden Knights team was born as an expansion team after a vote by the NHL owners to add a 31st team to the NHL. During the first year, 2017-2018, expectations for this new VGK team were low, but they fought hard to win a conference title and go on to the Stanley Cup Finals in year one.
The team shocked everyone by clinching the division title and having the NHL's fifth-best record. In their first postseason, they dominated the playoffs and lost just three games on their path to the Stanley Cup Finals. VGK earned a berth in the finals by capturing the Western Conference Championship.
The Vegas Golden Knights’ arena is known as T-Mobile Arena. It is a multi-purpose indoor arena found in Paradise, Nevada, on the infamous Las Vegas Strip. T-Mobile Arena has a capacity of 20,000 seats for spectators. Peter DeBoer currently leads the team as the head coach, having assumed that role in mid-January of 2020.
Vegas Golden Knights began as an expansion team and played their first season in 2017. Bill Foley, a billionaire businessman, negotiated to form a team back in 2014, contributed the cash to set up the club, and even launched a season-ticket drive that exceeded everyone’s expectations in 2015. It was clear the city of Las Vegas was ready to have their first professional sports team, and VGK was set to make history.
Their first season took an unexpected route. Vegas Golden Knights unexpectedly clinched the Pacific Division by beating Los Angeles, San Jose, and Anaheim. Reilly Smith, Jonthan Marchessault, and William Karlsson were in the top 10 performers in the entire league during that first season. Vegas stunned fans with winning streaks that boosted their fanbase, brought in record-breaking revenue, and led them to clinch their first title.
Vegas Golden Knights Roster for 2021
Here is the list of the current VGK players in 2021 and the roles they play:
1. Brayden McNabb – Defenseman
2. Alex Tuch – Left wing
3. Robin Lehner – Goaltender
4. Alec Martinez – Defenseman
5. Chandler Stephenson – Center
6. Nicolas Roy – Right wing
7. Keegan Kolesar – Right wing
8. Mark Stone - Right wing
9. Alex Pietrangelo – Defenseman
10. William Karlsson – Center
11. Nolan Patrick – Center
12. Nicolas Hague – Defenseman
13. Zach Whitecloud – Defenseman
14. Mattias Janmark – Left wing
15. William Carrier – Left wing
16. Jonathan Marchessault – Left wing
17. Reilly Smith – Left wing
18. Shea Theodore – Defenseman
19. Evgenii Dadonov – Right wing
20. Laurent Brossoit – Goaltender
21. Max Pacioretty – Left wing
The VGK primary logo is a helmet imposed on a gold and black shield bearing a V-shaped opening. The secondary logo is a red star with two swords crisscrossing at the back. The secondary logo gained massive popularity during season 4, as it became the pinnacle of the new release Reverse Retro alternate jersey by Adidas.
The Vegas Golden Knights’ primary color is steel gray. It represents durability and strength. Other colors are red, black, and gold, with the black signifying power and intensity. The public saw its first uniform in June 2017, and those home uniforms consisted of steel gray with gold, black and red stripes. Road uniforms come in white with gold, steel gray, and red lines. The shoulders bear the alternate swords logo.
In 2020, the team unveiled an alternate gold uniform. It entailed a palette swap of the road kits with white and gold switching places. VGK also released a "Reverse Retro" uniform with a red base and the crossing swords logo at the front.
The Name “Vegas Golden Knights”
The team's name has "Knights" to denote the Black Knights (United States Military Academy), which is Bill Foley's alma mater. According to Foley, Knights were “the epitome of the warrior class.” Foley wanted to name his team ‘Black Knights,’ but after facing resistance from federal agents, he dropped that plan. He did not want to call the group 'Vegas Knights' because the London Knights owned that 'Knights' name in Canada.
The word 'Gold' got incorporated into the team's name because Foley considered it the premier precious metal. The other reason is that Nevada produces more gold than any other state in the United States. The team did not include "Las" since people loved to refer to the city as "Vegas." Plus, having four names for the team would be quite a mouthful.
The VGK played without an official captain for the first 3 seasons of their existence. They simply had multiple assigned alternate captains who rotated and fulfilled that role together. An announcement was made on the first day of the 2020/21 NHL season saying that Mark Stone would be the first team captain in VGK history. Mark Stone joined the VGK from Ottawa Senators in February 2019 after a trade agreement occurred.
Why didn’t VGK ever had a permanent captain for the first three years in the league? You may be wondering, "why did the team go so long without having a permanent captain like all other NHL teams?”
The reason is, hockey takes the captain role more seriously than almost every other sport. This role has a huge responsibility that requires just the right person. To be a captain of a hockey team, you have to earn it and deserve it. You have to be a leader and very disciplined.
The captain should also have some unique capabilities, such as being the team's superstar. He does not necessarily have to be the best player, but they could potentially be the best scorer or skater. He is also expected to be a leader both on and off the ice. They should speak up for their teammates and defend them. In the NHL, the captain has the reponsibility to talk to the match officials on rule interpretation. In short, they speak for the team.
Mark Stone is 29 years old and plays right-wing for VGK. Even though many already expected him to be named captain, the decision drew much praise for him due to his immense contribution to the Vegas Golden Knights since joining. His assistants are Alex Pietrangelo and Reilly Smith.
For those who might not be familiar with Mark Stone, he certainly checks off a couple of leadership boxes. Mark leads by example while on the ice, in addition to being a high-level player. He is also vocal both off and on the ice. Stone is also arguably the best-rated player currently on the VGK squad.
The Vegas Golden Knights are typical overachievers in the sports world, having won many awards since their formation in 2017. Here are some of the trophies this fascinating team has won since its inception:
This is one colossal trophy that the VGK fans will remember for a long time. Vegas could not lift the Lord Stanley trophy even after advancing to the finals, but they will surely remember the Prince of Wales trophy since they bagged in their first year as a professional team. It was in that same year that Vegas Golden Knights were crowned Western Conference champions.
To help you understand how competitive this trophy is, the San Jose Sharks have never lifted it since their inception in 1991-92. St. Louis Blues had never won the award since 1967-70 up until last season. Arizona Coyotes and Minnesota Wild have never lifted the Western Conference trophy or even advanced to the Stanley Cup final.
In the 2017-18 season, forward William Karlsson had his world shaken when Columbus Blue Jackets asked VGK to take him in the expansion draft.
Karlsson shocked everyone after he tremendously improved under head coach Gerard Gallant. He had spectacular performances on the ice and brought a lot of positive energy to the team during that first season. Karlsson recorded a total of 78 points, netting 43 goals. He also had 35 assists.
One year after Karlsson lined up for a team that was supposed to struggle to reach round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, this meticulous player earned a prestigious title; the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. It is a special trophy awarded to only the most gentlemanly and sportsmanship conduct on and off the ice, combined with top-level playing ability.
Whoever took Gerard Gallant's photo catching a taxi in Raleigh, NC, never knew the picture would break the internet back in 2017. Gallant had been chased away by the Florida Panthers after a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Someone spotted him taking a taxi to the airport. It was not a pleasant ending to Gallant’s Florida Panthers tenure at all.
The hockey universe repaid this great coach, as he was among the respected NHL coaches Vegas decided to bank on to lead their team in the expansion.
Many people expected the team to lose in this first season, including hockey experts. However, everyone knows how that season went down, and Gallant was awarded the Jack Adams award as the coach of the year 2017-18. The team set a record of 51-24-7 during that inaugural year.
The initial season for the VGK will be in the minds of their fans and the entire hockey world for a long time. There are various reasons why the 2017-18 season remains significant to this team, as it gave the city some hope for being a first-year team. Many people will never forget defenseman Derk Engelland's speech in T-Mobile Arena after the 1 October shooting that took place in the city.
Everyone recognized his voice as the voice of Vegas' first professional hockey team. Engelland led this fascinating team to their first historic title with his gritty and humble style of play. The then alternate captain received the Mark Messier Leadership Award in June 2018. The honor is given to an NHL player who shows the best leadership skills. Other notable names that have won the award include Daniel Alfredsson and Shane Doan.
The Western Conference playoff champions earn this prestigious trophy each year and the VGK team hoisted it in 2017-18, their year of inception.
In January of 2020, VGK fired their then-coach Gerard Gallant, and announced Peter DeBoer as the head coach taking over. The management believed that DeBoer, as an experienced coach, would take the team another step forward and bank on the success of his predecessors. DeBoer has an NHL coaching record of 415-329-111. He also has 46 playoff wins at the helm of New Jersey, San Jose, and Florida teams.
DeBoer was the eighth coach for San Jose Sharks in 2015 and guided them to a 198-129-34 record in the five-year tenure he served there. He was the first coach to take the team to the first-ever appearance at the Stanley Cup in 2016. Before joining San Jose, DeBoer had also coached New Jersey Devils for about three and a half seasons. There he posted a 114-93-41 record and even led the team to the Stanley Cup final in 2012.
Peter DeBoer was the second-best manager for the New Jersey Devils behind Jacques Lemaire. He has also coached Florida Panthers before handling the Devils, where he set a 103-107-36 mark. DeBoer had also coached several teams in the Ontario Hockey league before coming to the NHL, such as Plymouth, Kitchener, and Detroit. He bagged several awards, including Memorial Cup Championship 2003, OHL Championship in 2008 and 2003. Peter DeBoer is a promising coach who might win VGK several awards in his future with the team.
VGK has a cheerleader team that hype up the crowd before, during and after the games. They are called the Vegas Vivas and are both guys and girls in uniform that perform organized chanting, cheering, and dancing for the VGK at each game. Every Vegas Golden Knights cheerleader is always active and cheering on the team to help motivate them every time they play. They are for sure a fan favorite around T-Mobile Arena!
The team's mascot is very popular and is known as Chance. He is a Gila monster, and his unveiling was during the team’s second game in October 2017. The VGK team decided to use this Gila monster and not a knight mascot. Knight mascots used for some other teams did not seem very child-friendly, which is why VGK chose to use a Gila monster instead.
The VGK tickets are accessible from the team's official website. You will find entire season memberships, single-game tickets, premium memberships, partial season memberships, and even group tickets & event suites.
You can also buy tickets at ticketmaster.com for the Vegas Golden Knights games. The tickets have a very hefty price tag attached to them, due to the team’s increasing success and popularity since their inception in 2017. It would also help if you understood that the prices do not remain the same all through the season. They fluctuate depending on several issues and this is what is known as dynamic pricing. There is never a lack of interest in Vegas Golden Knights games, as is evidenced by the fact that they’re easily able to sell out over 18,000 seats for every single home game.
VGK merchandise is found on the Vegas Sports Shop, where fans can purchase jerseys and other items at standard retail prices. You can also walk into the team practice facility, City National Arena, in Downtown Summerlin and shop from a wide selection at their team shop which is called The Arsenal.
A new team coming into any professional sports league needs players, first and foremost. The NHL asks the teams to protect a given number of their players, and the new team can poach the players left "unprotected" by their teams to create another team. The Vegas expansion draft in June 2018 had every existing NHL team protecting one goaltender, three defensemen, and seven forwards. They had the liberty to choose any combination they wished of skaters and a goaltender.
Fewer players were "protected" compared to previous expansions, which left the Vegas Golden Knights a lot of great players to add to their team. VGK scooped James Neal, a winger that scored 23 goals in his first season with Nashville. Marc-Andre Fleury also joined them, being a three-time Stanley Cup champion. VGK also picked some youngsters, Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson among them, who have now grown to be first-line options for the team. One of the best defensive prospects, Nate Schmidt, was also among those picked in the process.
T-Mobile Arena has some pregame shows on ice before the actual games begin. Fans and spectators remain entertained by the teams' mascots and cheerleaders as they wait for the game to begin. The Vegas Golden “Knight” mascot displays some action with the opponent mascot, usually dressed in medieval gear. The Knights mascot wins and then prepares the fans for the hockey game about to begin.
If you are a hockey fanatic, then you already know the answer to this question. Hockey games are exhilarating and phenomenal. There is a lot of joy found in interacting with fellow fans and chatting about your team and the league as a whole. Even if you do not attend the games in the arena, watching them from TV will still have you jumping up and down with a rollercoaster of emotions. After watching one VGK game, it is nearly certain you will never miss any of their future games.
VGK's future is a trending topic since the team had a disappointing 2020-21 season-ending. Even though they are a new team, they have several achievements to show, but there is still room for improvement. Bill Foley said the Vegas Golden Knights would win a Stanley Cup in the first 6 years of existence. They have gotten to the final once and the Western Conference Championship twice, only to fall short of that accolade. Season Five is about to begin – could this be the year it finally happens? Will Bill Foley be correct in his Cup prediction? Only time will tell.
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