Background and Institution

The NHL has had a presence in Las Vegas since 1991; that year, the town hosted the very first outdoor game involving two NHL teams — a preseason exhibition between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers out Caesars Palace. The Kings would then arrange”Frozen Fury” — a series of annual preseason matches 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 team surfaced in August 2014, pointing to a new indoor stadium on the Strip (built as a joint venture between Anschutz Entertainment Group, owners of the Los Angeles Kings, along with 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 said that the league had chosen 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 to get a Las Vegas expansion group. [11][12] In December 2014, the NHL’s board of governors decided to allow Foley to hold a season ticket push to judge interest at a Las Vegas team, although league commissioner Gary Bettman also cautioned the media to”[not] make more out of this than it is”. [13][14] The season ticket drive began in February 2015, with interested parties placing ten percent deposits for the 2016–17 season. [15] The drive drew 5,000 deposits in its very first day and a half, also reached its goal of 10,000 deposits by April 2015. [15][16]
In June 2015, the team officially opened the window for potential owners to bid on growth teams. With this stage, Foley had secured over 13,200 season-ticket deposits. Two expansion programs were filed: Foley’s program for a Las Vegas team, and a bid from Quebecor to revive the Quebec Nordiques at a new arena in Quebec City. Both Las Vegas and Quebec were encouraged to move into Phase II of the league growth bidding in August 2015,[17] and subsequently advanced to Phase III.
In the league owners’ meeting on June 22, 2016, in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas expansion bid was accepted with a unanimous vote, with play to begin at the 2017–18 NHL season. [18] The team became the first major professional sports franchise to be based in Las Vegas, and the very first NHL expansion team since 2000. [19] Foley committed to pay the league’s $500 million expansion fee[20] and began the process of employing the team’s principal staff and determining its own official identity. Foley announced that former Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee would be the franchise’s first general manager. [21] On November 22, 2016, the title was revealed as the Vegas Golden Knights.
Start of operations: 2017–present About March 1, 2017 (coinciding with the league’s trade deadline), the team finished its growth fee payments and filings, making it eligible to officially start operations such as free agent acquisition, and participation in league meetings. [22] Five days later, the Golden Knights made their first personnel move by registering Reid Duke into a three-year entry-level contract. [23][24]
Gerard Gallant training the Golden Knights during their inaugural 2017–18 season. Gallant was called 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 farm system, announcing affiliations with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League and the Quad City Mallards of the ECHL. [26][27]
The group participated in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft on June 21, 2017, choosing an available player from all 30 teams in the NHL. The draft selections were declared at T-Mobile Arena during the NHL Awards ceremony. Some notable selections included goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in the Pittsburgh Penguins and winger James Neal from the Nashville Predators. At the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Cody Glass was the first player selected by the Golden Knights. The Golden Knights played their first match 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 game of a home-and-home series. In the wake of the October 1 mass shooting, the pre-game ceremonies honored the victims of this attack, along with the group issued an appeal for donations to its charitable arm. [29] With their 5–2 win, the Golden Knights improved their unbeaten streak to start the season 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 the first nine games. Throughout their inaugural game, goaltender Oscar Dansk was hurt becoming the third Golden Knights’ goaltender to be injured throughout the season after dropping starters Fleury along with the newly acquired Malcolm Subban, forcing the group to begin a fourth goaltender in 11 games with Maxime Lagace. [33] Fifteen games into this season, Vadim Shipachyov became the first player to retire from the NHL as a Golden Knight when he chose to go back to the Kontinental Hockey League. Back in December, the Golden Knights set another NHL expansion team record of six consecutive wins, a list they had previously missed when 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 set the expansion team record for wins in a debut season with 34 wins after just 50 matches,[37] and later on February 21, 2018, set a record for most points with an expansion team in the inaugural season with 84. [38] Clinching a berth for the 2018 playoffs on March 26, the Golden Knights became the first team since the Edmonton Oilers and Hartford Whalers in 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 in its inaugural season (not counting all-expansion divisions, as was the case from 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 earned their first 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 inaugural season. [41] On May 6, 2018, the Golden Knights defeated the San Jose Sharks four-games-to-two, becoming 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 inaugural season, following the Toronto Arenas at 1918 along with the St. Louis Blues at 1968. [43] The Golden Knights would shed the Stanley Cup Finals to the Washington Capitals in five games. [44]
From the 2018–19 year, the Golden Knights returned to the playoffs as the third seed of the Pacific Division. They had been 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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