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Golden Knights Home Opener At T-Mobile Arena – October 10th, 2017

This post will be updated throughout the day as we cover what is sure to be one of the most historic nights in professional sports history. The Vegas Golden Knights will play the Arizona Coyotes in front of a sold-out crowd at T-Mobile Arena. Prior to the game the organization will honor the victims, families, and first responders of last weekend’s tragedy before playing the first major professional sports game as the home team for Las Vegas.

We will be covering everything that goes on throughout the day including the Gold Carpet, the March to the Arena, the pre-game ceremonies, the game, postgame interviews, and then head over to Bailiwick at The Orleans for the official SinBin.vegas after party.

Click through and continue to reload for pictures, videos, quotes, tweets, and so much more from this unbelievable night.

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Golden Knights Announce “Final” 23-Man Roster

It’s ok. Calm down. Shippy will be in Dallas with the Golden Knights. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The deadline to cut the roster down to 23 was today at 2PM PST, however, as you will notice by some of the names omitted, one in particular, it’s safe to assume this will not be the 23 players boarding the plane to Dallas. So, here’s what was submitted to the league today.

Forwards

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
William Carrier
Cody Eakin
Erik Haula
William Karlsson
Brendan Leipsic
Oscar Lindberg
Jonathan Marchessault
Tomas Nosek
David Perron
Reilly Smith

Defensemen

Deryk Engelland
Jason Garrison
Brad Hunt
Brayden McNabb
Jon Merrill
Colin Miller
Griffin Reinhart
Luca Sbisa
Nate Schmidt
Clayton Stoner * (IR)

Goalies

Marc-Andre Fleury
Calvin Pickard
Malcolm Subban

Before you go throwing a fit, yes, Vadim Shipachyov is not on the roster… right now. Shipachyov is one of three players who remained in Golden Knights training camp with waiver exempt status. Therefore, he is officially being assigned to Chicago without any risk of the Golden Knights surrendering him to another team.

However, we can confidently say (like, beyond a shadow of a doubt) a move or moves are coming in the next two days that will free up a roster spot. This will allow George McPhee and the Golden Knights to bring Shipachyov “back” from the AHL before the game on Friday in Dallas.

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10 Golden Knights Were At Cosmopolitan During Incident

Erik Haula gives details of the experience of the players who were locked down at Cosmopolitan during the shooting at Mandalay Bay.

We were at the restaurant until about 1:30, we weren’t out of the casino until about 3 AM. Our security guys came and picked us got us and brought us home. We got home at around 4:30 AM.

There had been reports everywhere. We were on the third floor, so a lot of people were trying to get up to where we were. Then we were trying to figure out if something was going on where we were. Everyone was told to get to the back and they locked down the restaurant. At that point it was pretty much just hunker down until we knew more. -Nate Schmidt

It was pretty scary. There was a window so went out and looked toward Mandalay Bay and MGM and everything was shut down there was no one. Couple people walking around the streets that couldn’t even get in the hotels for safety. A couple guys were trying to get down to join us for dinner and they ended up having to turn around and go back. They were stuck in traffic and luckily those guys were able to get out of there before everything hit the fan. -Alex Tuch

In total 10 players and a few of their girlfriends/wives were at the restaurant during the incident. A few other players indicated that they were at home at the time and coach Gerard Gallant was picking his daughter up from the airport.

All Golden Knights players, coaches, and staff are accounted for and safe.

Interviews from Deryk Engelland, Nate Schmidt, Brad Hunt, Alex Tuch, Colin Miller, Brayden McNabb, Jon Merrill recounting Sunday night.

James Neal Injury Update

Update (9/30/17 10:56 AM):

Original (9/28/17)

Well I mean of course it’s important and I’d love to be a part of it, but I’ve got make sure I’m ready to go. Injuries are never fun, but I’m doing everything I can here to be ready to go. -James Neal

He’s not going to play tonight, and there’s no chance he’s going to play the next game. We’ve got four or five practice days before the opener. He’s getting better every day, he feels a lot better. I’m not going to say he’ll be ready for the opener. We’re hoping, but we don’t know. -Gerard Gallant

Neal broke his hand in the first game of the Western Conference Finals. He had offseason surgery following the Stanley Cup Finals. The first day he hit the ice at City National Arena was September 21st. Every practice he’s participated in since he’s worn red “no contact” gear.

Roster Update: 34 Players Remain In Camp

Update: Chris Casto cleared waivers on September 23rd. He should not have been counted in this list.

The Golden Knights made another round of cuts including sending training camp darling Tyler Wong out of camp to the Chicago Wolves. Others to be cut yesterday were Jake Bischoff, Keegan Kolesar, and two goalies Maxime Lagace and Oscar Dansk.

With just 10 days until the season opens in Dallas the Golden Knights are now left with 34 players in camp to fill out a roster of 23. In numerical order, here’s who remains in camp.

This group is starting to get small. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Brayden McNabb (INJ), Clayton Stoner, Deryk Engelland, Colin Miller, Jason Garrison, Griffin Reinhart, Brendan Leipsic (INJ), Jon Merrill, James Neal (INJ), Reilly Smith, Paul Thompson, Cody Eakin, Oscar Lindberg, Stefan Matteau, Shea Theodore, William Carrier, Marc-Andre Fleury, Calvin Pickard, Reid Duke (INJ), Tomas Hyka, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Luca Sbisa, Erik Haula, David Perron, Teemu Pulkkinen, T.J. Tynan, William Karlsson, Chris Casto, Brad Hunt, Jonathan Marchessault, Vadim Shipachyov, Nate Schmidt, Alex Tuch, Tomas Nosek

(No transactions have been announced for Mikhail Grabovski or David Clarkson, but neither has skated at City National Arena. Both are expected to be placed on injured reserve to begin the season.)

  • We’ve yet to see Neal practice with the team, but he was skating with Leipsic before practice yesterday.
  • Duke has been out since the second rookie game in El Segundo and is likely still in Vegas to get the best treatment on his shoulder injury.
  • McNabb blocked a shot in the preseason game on Sunday in Anaheim which kept him out of practice yesterday. He is expected to be fine and back in practice tomorrow.
  • Yesterday, Thompson, Tynan, and Casto were not on the ice at practice and are not in the roster tonight, transactions have yet to be announced.
  • If you take out the three who were missing yesterday plus Duke. That leaves us with 30 players.
  • Leipsic is expected to be healthy enough to play in the final preseason game or two so he’s certainly still in the running for a spot. Neal, on the other hand, is a bit more of a question mark. If he can’t go, we’re down to 29.
  • Without Neal, the breakdown is 16 forwards, 11 defensemen, and two goalies. The team is expected to keep 13 forwards, eight defensemen, and two goalies.
  • Check out our projected 23 man roster here.

CenturyLink Reaches Deal To Carry AT&T SportsNet/VGK Games

We’re not completely out of the woods, but a huge hurdle in the race to get the Golden Knights in every home in the Vegas valley has been crossed.

CenturyLink announced today AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain will be added to their Prism TV channel lineup starting on September 15th. The channel will be available across every TV package CenturyLink provides, so Golden Knights games will immediately be available to all current Prism TV subscribers and new subscribers will not have to pay an added “sports package” fee to watch VGK games.

We are focused on providing Prism TV subscribers with the best entertainment choices, so it was very important to us to ensure that Vegas Golden Knights hockey and Mountain West Conference collegiate sports were part of the channel lineup for our Nevada subscribers. We look forward to offering our customers the premium sports content that AT&T SportsNet will provide. -Jeremy Ferkin, CenturyLink VP of Operations for Nevada

As for Cox, they still remain “in discussions” with AT&T SportsNet, the exclusive home for Golden Knights games on TV. #CoxBlocked

CenturyLink is currently the second largest cable provider in the valley, reportedly well behind Cox, however, they do offer service to every home in Las Vegas and Henderson. So now, even if Cox doesn’t reach an agreement, AT&T SportsNet is officially available to every household via CenturyLink’s PrismTV, DirecTV, and Dish Network.

AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain will be available on channel 760(SD)/1760(HD), available to all subscribers, starting one week from today.

The first preseason game is nine days away and the first regular season game in Golden Knights franchise history will be played in Dallas 28 days from today.

Golden Knights Announce Jersey Numbers

With Training Camp less than two weeks away the Golden Knights have released the jersey numbers for the inaugural roster. Here they are.

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NHL 18 Releases VGK-Centric Promo Video, Introduces Expansion Draft Feature

As surreal as moments such as the name reveal, jersey unveil, and the Expansion Draft have been for Vegas hockey fans, the ability to finally play a video game with a team actually from Vegas rather than the stock create-a-team might be the most unbelievable of all.

NHL 18 drops on September 15th and EA just released a video surrounding the Expansion Draft and the game’s updated franchise mode.

The game integrates the actual NHL protection lists and allows gamers to either play with the Golden Knights or create a team and bring them to any other city. The game also has a feature that lets fans of other teams go back and submit different protection lists to see how the draft would have changed.

Back in June EA put out this sweet promo video of T-Mobile Arena as well.

September 15th cannot get here soon enough. Hopefully, by then they’ll realize the Golden Knights wear white gloves, not these bogus black ones in the video.

“Our Lineup’s Pretty Good But There’s No McDavid Or Crosby”

Usually, when players, coaches, execs, and The Creator are asked about the Golden Knights roster we get the same stock answers. We hear things like “best expansion roster ever” or “plenty of talent” or the first thing mentioned about the roster by Gerard Gallant in a recent NHL.com article.

I knew we were going to have a pretty decent team, but the team was better than I thought. I thought we got better top-end players than I thought we’d get. -Gerard Gallant

But sometimes, there’s a moment of honesty, and in the case of the Golden Knights initial roster, accuracy.

I think our lineup’s pretty good. But then you go around and look at the other teams in the NHL, in our division, and in our conference and say, ‘Well …’ -Gallant

This is what we love about Gallant. The guy is a no-nonsense type coach who obviously understands the challenge placed before him.

There’s going to be issues. Some nights we’re going to have trouble scoring goals. You look at our roster, there’s a lot of good players. Are there any superstars there? There’s some real good players, those types of players. You look at teams that have success in the NHL, they’ve got some of those top-end hockey players. -Gallant

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Despite Confusion, Yes You Can Gamble On The Golden Knights

When the NHL decided to put their 31st franchise in between New York New York and Monte Carlo on the Las Vegas Strip, they pretty much resigned to the fact that gambling on the games was going to happen.

However, a recent ESPN article raised some doubts.

I think gambling is irrelevant to what we’re all about. You can’t gamble in the arena. When we have a game day, we go down on the sports books so you won’t be able to bet on the Golden Knights at some of the local casinos. -The Creator to ESPN.com

This sent alarm bells ringing, so we reached out to clarify what he meant and if, like this one from the same story, there was a slight misquote.

“Can’t gamble in the arena,” can be taken many different ways. Sports gambling? Table games? Slots? The answer is the same on all of them. There are no physical gambling machines, tables, or betting windows inside of T-Mobile Arena, and there won’t be during games.

However, being millennials, we are huge fans of mobile sports apps, which allow you to bet from anywhere in the state of Nevada on your phone. Is this going to be somehow restricted in the arena?

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