When news broke out in 2016 that Las Vegas was getting an NHL team, many wondered if the city could handle a team from any major professional sport, let alone a hockey team in the desert. Even the upcoming Las Vegas Raiders only have to worry about selling tickets for eight regular season games per season, and that is for the most popular sport in the U.S. But, as we are finding out, Las Vegas is not just a city that could handle an NHL team; the Vegas Golden Knights have become fan favorites across North America and one of the greatest success stories for an expansion team in history.
For those that haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, there are plenty of reasons to tune into the Vegas Golden Knights. For starters, as many of us were pleasantly shocked to find out, the team was actually good in its inaugural season, and not just good for an expansion team. They were one of the best teams in the league, going 51-24-7, boasting one of the top offenses, and making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. Since 1960, the Golden Knights are the only first-year expansion team to win even half of their games in any of the four major sports, and they have easily the best offense of the group.
Although some of the rules of the expansion draft were in their favor, at 500-1 odds to win the title before the season, no one could have predicted how successful the Golden Knights would be in their first year. Perhaps as unlikely, no one could have envisioned how popular the team would be outside of Las Vegas, where they were one the highest rated NHL teams nationally.
But what separates the Vegas Golden Knights from just about any team in of the four major professional sports is, you really don’t even really need to be a sports fan to find them wildly entertaining. The Vegas Golden Knights’ pregame ritual is a spectacle that must be seen to be believed. The theater and creativity is pure Vegas in the best possible way, setting the tone for the team and its crowd, leading up to both teams taking the ice.
The Golden Knights have one of the most badass logos in the NHL, consisting of a spartan-like knight helmet, with the letter V in the middle, colored steel gray, black and Vegas gold. It was also a nice touch leaving “Las” out and just calling them the Vegas Golden Knights.
Despite a tough loss to the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup Final, the energy surrounding the Golden Knights is still full of excitement and wonder. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, I suggest you do because there is a lot to look forward to in the seasons ahead for the best (at least) casual follow in sports.