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Practice Facility To Be Named City National Arena

We already knew the Vegas Golden Knights would be playing their home games at T-Mobile Arena, we now know the name of the $25 million building in Downtown Summerlin where they will be practicing.

SinBin.vegas has learned the Golden Knights practice facility is set to be renamed City National Arena in the near future.

A post on social media appeared today confirming the new title sponsor.

City National is a bank with four locations in the valley. Their headquarters are in Los Angeles and are a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada.

City National Arena in Downtown Summerlin is set to open in late August and will be the home of the first Golden Knights training camp. There will be two full size sheets of ice, the entire Golden Knights staff offices, a workout center, and a second story restaurant overlooking the rinks.

The Golden Knights would not confirm the name.

CMO Nehme Abouzeid Out As CMO Of Golden Knights

Chief Marketing Officer Nehme Abouzeid announced on Facebook today that he is no longer a part of the Vegas Golden Knights organization.

Pro hockey effectively launched in Vegas. City excited. Team drafted. Brand rolled out. Flagship store opened. Fan base engaged and growing. Looking forward to the next journey helping other companies and brands do the same. Look for my own firm launching soon in Vegas. -Nehme Abouzeid on Facebook

Abouzeid was hired in November of 2016 and became the first Las Vegas local on the staff having worked at the Wynn and Sands for the previous decade.

Nehme left the Golden Knights having helped us reach many key milestones. We wish him the utmost success in his future endeavors. -Kerry Bubolz, Golden Knights President

**Stick tap to Jesse Granger of the Las Vegas Sun for breaking this story.**

Three Golden Knights On Hockey Canada World Junior Summer Showcase Roster

This summer from July 28th to August 5th in Plymouth, Michigan, USA Hockey is hosting 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase. Teams from the US, Canada, Sweden, and Finland will participate in the week-long camp meant to prepare teams for December’s IIHF World Junior tournament.

Golden Knights Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki, and Nic Hague were all selected to participate for Hockey Canada in the camp. Nolan Patrick (2017, 2nd overall), Cale Makar (2017, 4th overall), and Pierre-Luc Dubois (2016, 3rd overall) are also part of the Canadian roster.

The top four picks in this year’s draft from the United States, Casey Mittelstadt (8th overall), Josh Norris (19th overall), and Kailer Yamamoto (22nd overall) are all on the American roster.

Rosters for Sweden and Finland have yet to be released, but we can expect to see Erik Brannstrom and possibly Lucas Elvenes on the list for Sweden.

Team Canada’s first game is on August 1st.

Update: Brannstrom is on Sweden’s roster. Elvenes is not. The Golden Knights do not have a representative on Finland or the United States teams. See all rosters here

Emelin Traded, Quiet Day Of Free Agency, Development Camp Shootout

July 1st is always a big day in the NHL, and especially for the Golden Knights who still had trades to make, players to sign, and rookie camp to wrap up. But when the sun set on the first day of the first league year in Vegas NHL history, there was just a single transaction that made waves.

The Golden Knights traded Alexei Emelin, who they selected from the Montreal Canadiens in the Expansion Draft, to the Nashville Predators for a 2019 3rd round pick. Vegas also agreed to retain $1.2M of Emelin’s salary, something they could not agree to do during the Expansion Draft. The trade gives the Golden Knights three 3rd round picks in the 2019 Draft and a 12 total in that draft.

Emelin was the most likely defenseman to be flipped from the Expansion Draft after Marc Methot was sent out earlier in the week. McPhee is likely to trade one more defenseman before the end of the long weekend. The leading candidates are Luca Sbisa, Clayton Stoner, or Jon Merrill.

On the first day of free agency, Vegas was expectedly quiet signing six players who will all likely play in the minor leagues next season.

Brad Hunt (D), Chris Casto (D), Paul Thompson (F), Stefan Matteau (F), T.J. Tynan (F), and Maxime Lagace (G)

All six were signed to contracts worth $650,000 if they play at the NHL level.

Hunt, Thompson, and Matteau have all have NHL experience. Matteau is also noted because he was selected in the 1st round (29th overall) of the 2012 Draft by the New Jersey Devils, and his father scored the goal on one of the greatest TV calls ever.

Finally, Development Camp wrapped up with a final scrimmage and a subsequent shootout. Here are some highlights.

All in all, Development Camp was more of an orientation to NHL in Vegas for the 44 players who participated, but that didn’t stop Alex Tuch and Erik Brannstrom from shining on the ice. Next time we’ll see Golden Knights on the ice will be on September 7th when rookies report to training camp.

Vegas Golden Knights NHL Expansion Draft Live Blog

Click through to follow our live blog of the Expansion Draft and the eight events leading up to it.

Deal With Blue Jackets Likely; VGK Would Get CBJ’s 1st Round Pick

NHL rosters freeze at noon today, and all of the Original 30 must submit their protection lists to the league by 2 PM. But before all that, there’s been a quick rush of rumors, including one, in particular, that could be very lucrative for the Golden Knights.

The Jackets are believed to be trading this year’s first-round draft pick (No. 24 overall) and a prospect (not Pierre-Luc Dubois or Sonny Milano) to Vegas for assurances that the Golden Knights will select either left wing Matt Calvert, center William Karlsson or defenseman Ryan Murray. –Aaron Portzline, Columbus Dispatch

That means, don’t touch young guys like Joonas KorpisaloAlexander Wennberg, and Josh Anderson, and also stay away from Jack Johnson and David Savard. In return, George McPhee gets a golden ticket, another first round pick.

It’s unclear if this deal includes the Golden Knights taking David Clarkson‘s contract off Columbus’ hands. (He’s on long-term IR, but is still owed $5.25M per year until 2020).

That’s not it for the first round picks either…

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Gallant Will Be “Sitting Back Watching” During Expansion Draft

We’ve long talked about the Expansion Draft from George McPhee’s point of view, but we finally got a chance to ask the man who will be coaching all of the players selected what his role will be during the 72 hour period from June 18th to the 21st.

I’ll be sitting back watching. I mean don’t get me wrong, they’ll ask me about some of Florida’s players and some of Montreal’s players, because I coached those players, I know them inside and out. So the guys that I know, they’ll ask me questions and I’ll fill them in. They’ll pick the players they want, which is how it should be, but I’ll give my opinion when they ask. -Gerard Gallant

George will pick the players, Gerard will coach them. That’s how it was described the day Gerard was hired, and that’s how it appears it will remain through the biggest 72 hours in Golden Knights history.

We’ve written over 300 articles specifically referencing the Expansion Draft, and the Vegas staff has to get it all done in a 72 hour period. We assumed there wouldn’t be much sleeping going on, Gerard confirmed.

I am (going to sleep during the Expansion Draft). George isn’t. Seriously it’s hectic for those guys right now, but you know what, if it’s hectic that’s really good for our franchise. It means the other teams are constantly calling, that’s real good. -Gallant

Gallant’s job starts soon though. Development Camp starts up on June 26th with the first practice on the 27th at the Las Vegas Ice Center. Gallant says there will be 44 players suited up. These will include the draft picks, free agents like Reid Duke and Tomas Hyka, and a host of players on try-out contracts.

**Practices and scrimmages are open to the public, but it’s first come first serve and the Ice Center does not have a tone of space, so plan accordingly.**

Golden Knights Hire Two Assistant Coaches

Before George McPhee fills up the bench with players at the Expansion Draft, Gerard Gallant has begun bringing on a few of the people who will stand behind the bench and coach the Golden Knights.

First, the obvious one, Mike Kelly. Kelly who was an assistant with Gallant in Florida, as well as in Saint John in the QMJHL, has been hired to the same position with the Golden Knights. Kelly had been Gallant’s top assistant the three seasons Gerard was with the Panthers and was always expected to have a place in Vegas once Gallant was hired.

I am very excited to be working with Mike again. We enjoyed success in both Florida and Saint John and I am eager to bring that success to the Golden Knights. Mike is a great guy with a wealth of hockey knowledge and I couldn’t be happier with the decision to bring him to Las Vegas. -Gerard Gallant, Head Coach in Press Release

The next assistant hung up his skates to take a shot at coaching. It’s Ryan Craig, who was most recently the captain of the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL. Craig’s playing career spanned 14 years in the NHL and AHL. Prior to going pro, Craig played for the Brandon Wheat Kings for six seasons from 1997-2003. Vegas Assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon drafted Craig in Brandon.

Craig played 71 games this season with the Monsters before deciding to take on the assistant coaching job in Vegas.

He is well-respected in the hockey community and has been a tremendous leader throughout his playing career, both on and off the ice. I am confident that the leadership characteristics he exuded as a player will translate well behind the bench in his new role as an assistant coach. -Gallant in Press Release

Most NHL teams have either two or three assistant coaches in addition to their head coach and goalie coach, so it’s possible one more assistant is added in the coming days. The Golden Knights goalie coach, Dave Prior, was hired eight months before Gallant.

Golden Knights Formally Respond To Denied Trademark With USPTO

On December 7th, the Vegas Golden Knights trademark was denied by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) because of “likelihood of confusion” with the College of St. Rose Golden Knights.

There are countless examples of college sports teams and professional sports teams with coexisting names including the UCLA Bruins and Boston Bruins, University of Miami Hurricanes and Carolina Hurricanes, etc. We will plan on making these arguments and others in our detailed written response to the office action which must be filed by June 7th, 2017. -Team Statement on December 7th

That statement, which consists of 1347 pages of argument, examples, and exhibits, has been prepared and sent to the USPTO for review. (If you feel like going through the whole thing, it can be found here.)

The response cites four reasons as to why “Vegas Golden Knights mark is not likely to be confused” with the College of St. Rose Golden Knights.

(1) sports fans (and the general public) have long been accustomed to distinguishing between unrelated sports teams using the same or similar nicknames and trademarks;

(2) more specifically, sports fans (and the general public) have long been accustomed to distinguishing between GOLDEN KNIGHTS and KNIGHTS marks for sporting events;

(3) sports fans, by their very nature, are knowledgable about the games they choose to watch and attend; and

(4) the parties’ marks differ materially in appearance, sound and commercial impression.

The response goes on to give hundreds of examples from the Arizona Coyotes and University of South Dakota Coyotes sharing name, to comparing 22 different trademarks with the word “knights,” to even citing an erotic movie theatre that shares its name with a family movie theatre (Mini Cinema).

Read More

Adidas/NHL Jersey Unveil June 20th At Wynn

The wait for jerseys just got one day shorter. An email to the media confirmed a special event at Intrique at the Wynn on June 20th to unveil Adidas’ versions of the NHL jerseys.

The event will put on display all 31 teams new Adidas branded jerseys. Yes, that would indeed include the Golden Knights jerseys. The event is not open to the public.

The Armory, the team store at T-Mobile Arena, is slated to open June 21st to coincide with the Expansion Draft and Awards.

While the jerseys will be shown off in two weeks, they will not be available to buy, wear, and bring home. The team is planning a pre-order process that will begin at the Expansion Draft and afterwards. They expect jerseys to be available for sale in mid-September.

That’s all we know at the moment, but expect more events to come as the Golden Knights and the NHL prepare for what will be an historic week in Vegas.

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