The Vegas Golden Knights are a professional team in the NHL, based in Las Vegas, NV. They play in the NHL's Western Conference and Pacific Division. The Golden Knights are the sole professional sports franchise in the 5 major sport leagues in Las Vegas. The team is also the newest team in the NHL, the team's ownership was granted the expansion rights in 2016, and the team started its operations won year later, playing their first season in 2017-18. Speaking of ownership, the Vegas Golden Knights have a split ownership; Bill Foley and the Maloof Family are the franchise's owners since its foundation. The Maloof Family had owned professional sport franchises in the past, they owned the NBA's Sacramento Kings for a long time, while Foley grew up in Canada passionate about hockey. Both parties took a risk when entering a non-traditional market such as Las Vegas, where there is no ice nor any sports franchises prior to the Knights. Fortunately, the risk paid off, and the Golden Knights have a solid fan base in Las Vegas.
The Vegas Golden Knights primary colors are black, red, and gold. The team plays its games at the newly built T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas. When founding the team, Bill Foley knew the new team's name was going to be centered around Knights. The final options were: the Desert Knights, the Silver Knights, and the Golden Knights. Also, Foley named the team Vegas Golden Knights, without the "Las" in the city's name. Las Vegas is known as one of the entertainment capitals of the world, and Golden Knight games could be different. Part of that is the team's mascot, Chance the Gila Monster, who entertains fans during breaks. The Golden Knights also have development league affiliates; the Chicago Wolves in the AHL, and the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL.
Founding Date: 2017
City: Las Vegas, NV
Number of Stanley Cups: 0
Mascot: Chance the Gila Monster
Owner: Bill Foley and The Maloof Family
Head Coach: Gerard Gallant
Stadium: T-Mobile Arena
Rumors of an NHL expansion franchise in Las Vegas started in 2014. By that time, the league hadn't shown public interest in expanding anywhere, much less to Las Vegas. Rumors also said that the new team would build its new arena in the Strip, and that the owners would be Bill Foley and the Maloof Family. As we know now, those rumors turned out to be pretty accurate, but the NHL did not release official information until the end of 2014, when it authorized Foley to start exploring the city's interest in season tickets. In 2015 the league opened for expansion bids, and a year later Foley's bid to have a team in Las Vegas was chosen, beating abid to have a new franchise in Quebec. In 2017, all expansion fees were paid, and the Golden Knights could officially start operating. The team went through the expansion draft, free agency, and draft, and had a roster to start playing in the 2017-18 season. One of the main players in iits roster was three time Stanley Cup winner goalie Marc-Andre Fleury
Historically, expansion teams tend to struggle in their first seasons in any sport, with the first season being the worst one. By the beginning of their first season, the Vegas Golden Knights had the worst odds of winning the Stanley Cup according to (funny enough) Las Vegas betting houses. That was nothing other than natural, the team was not even expected to make it to the playoffs in their first year of operation. It appeared that the only people who truly believed the Knights could have a good season were the owners, the Maloof's and Foley. The team won all of its first three games, posting a record for the best start for expansion franchises in their first season. Ten days before the Knights' first home game ever in the new arena, Las Vegas was struck by tragedy when a gunman killed 58 people in a music festival. The franchise and its players helped the community by raising funds, but also by standing strong and proudly representing the city of Las Vegas throughout the season.
Playing in honor of the victims and for the local community, the Golden Knights unexpectedly kept up their good pace, and finished with a sensational record, clinching a playoff berth and the Pacific Division's title. By doing so, the franchise shocked the hockey world, who were counting on the Knights to finish in the last positions in the league. Although the team qualified for the playoffs, nobody expected the Golden Knights to go very far. Again, the team performed beyond expectations, and advanced all the way to the Stanley Cup finals, an unimaginable accolade at the beginning of the season. The team faced the Washington Capitals in a chance for the cup, but would lose the series in five games. The final loss however did not erase the unexpectedly successful inaugural season the Golden Knights had. The team had been the league' main story that season, and had conquered people's hearts in their way to the finals.