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.
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
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.
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
“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?
Before we all start panicking about Nate Schmidt’s ankle injury, let’s take a deep breath. George McPhee suggested it’ll take “the week or so” before an injury update. We can save our overreaction for when that “or so” bleeds into training camp. Plus, the Schmidt-scare gives us an opportunity to discuss the stud NCAA free agent defenseman the Golden Knights reached out to.
To our knowledge, Vegas has only pursued a few NCAA free agents during their first offseason, and Neal Pionk (signed w/ NRY) and Spencer Foo (signed w/ CGY) were the only two names seriously connected to the Golden Knights. Ultimately, both chose other NHL franchises, which makes you wonder, why?
I know that we’ve had real good coverage. We’ve targeted a very small number (of college free agents). To be honest with you, we haven’t cast a wide net. -Kelly McKrimmon, Assistant General Manager
That was Golden Knights’ Assistant GM back in early April. Foo and Pionk were targeted, and now Vegas appears to have its eyes on the new NCAA golden boy, Will Butcher.
Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt was the only player in the NHL to have his contract through a ruling made in arbitration. In fact, he’s the first player to have done so since 2015.
It’s a process in which each side gets together (team and player/agent) and they make arguments to a third party arbitrator on what they believe the player should be paid. Obviously, this means the team wants a lower salary and the player/agent want higher. So, it turns into a bit of a tug-of-war between employee and employer.
It’s tough sometimes sitting in those meetings. 50% of it was awesome. You are sitting there and they are pumping your tires and talking about how great you are and I was thinking ‘man, I feel like a stud out here.’ Then the next part comes and I’m thinking ‘oh man, what am I doing, I should hang the skates up.’ I had a note pad and truth be told I kept writing down, ‘this is just a business this is not personal they don’t really feel this way.’ I had to repeat that a couple times and I was getting a little frustrated. -Nate Schmidt
Schmidt, appearing on the Vegas Hockey Hotline on KSHP 1400 (see below), also confirmed the rumors that the Golden Knights wanted a multi year deal while he was looking for a one year deal.
At first, we were thinking a one year deal but I love that I’ll be in this for an extra year. -Schmidt
Here at SinBin.vegas, we’ve speculated that the Golden Knights were using Schmidt to set an example, basically showing RFAs in the future they are willing to go all the way through with arbitration if that’s what it takes. Schmidt offered up another possible motive behind the case as well.
Hey, that’s just the way it goes. I tried to have a good attitude about it, it’s something they had never been through before some people maybe wanted to have some experience as well. I think it’s a great process because it brings the sides together because no one really wants to do it, but you know what I think it was good the way everything played out. -Schmidt
As always, Nate Schmidt is an absolute joy to listen to and his perspectives on the game, and life for that matter, are great. We’ve previously predicted that he’ll be the fan favorite when the Golden Knights finally finish up in Idaho, Montana, and Utah and head to Vegas. This interview only further confirms it. Give it a listen, it’s definitely a fun one.
Whether you are watching on TV or listening on the radio, we now know the voices that will guide us through the first season of Vegas Golden Knights hockey.
The Golden Knights announced Dave Goucher will be the play-by-play voice for the team on AT&T Sports Network along with analyst Shane Hnidy, and Dan D’Uva will be making the calls on FOX Sports Radio 98.9 FM.
Goucher had been the radio play-by-play voice for the Boston Bruins since 2000. Hnidy is a former NHL defenseman who has been doing the same job for the Winnipeg Jets since 2014, and D’Uva has been the voice of the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch since 2012.
All three are experienced voices in the hockey community, coupled with the experience in broadcasting games on TV from AT&T Sports Network (previously Root Sports) and on radio with Lotus broadcasting, Golden Knights will be seeing and hearing high-level broadcasts from day one.
This is, of course, assuming you’ll be able to see the Golden Knights here in Vegas. As of right now, neither Cox nor CenturyLink (the two main cable providers in the Las Vegas valley) carry the channel the Golden Knights call their television home. Thus, more than 50% of the homes in southern Nevada would not have the ability to watch Golden Knights games.
Negotiations are still ongoing and all sides remain confident, but the clock is ticking, and as of right now, the “Team of the Rockies” might only be seen in the Rockies.
About a week ago, I found some old hockey cards getting dusty in my closet. As I sorted through, I noticed a handful of Golden Knight players. I found old Cody Eakin, Deryk Engelland, Marc-Andre Fleury, and multiple James Neal cards.
After trading VGK players with my one-year-old, I thought, screw these old cards. We need the 2017-18 Golden Knights player cards. It was time to reach out to Upper Deck, the crown jewel of trading cards. Player artwork, autographs, jersey swatches, and stick inserts are what UD excels in. In fact, this Upper Deck card got me amped for an eventual Erik Brannstrom Rookie Profile card.
I learned a lot about the trading card industry. It’s a slow but advanced process. I get it, we’re working with artists. For some reason, there is never enough time between seasons for trading card companies. For instance, players that relocate during the offseason usually get stuck in a previous team’s jersey on their new card. For example, Neal’s first Golden Knight’s card would likely be a picture of the forward in Predators yellow. So, that’s what I expected. Unfortunately, I was deeply disappointed.
When Upper Deck released their 2017-18 NHL MVP series checklist, the Golden Knights were completely invisible. Not one Vegas card was printed by Upper Deck for their first released series. It doesn’t end with UD, it’s possible other Golden Knight trading cards (O-pee-chee, Panini, Topps) won’t be available to start the season either. Here’s the Upper Deck team checklist, take a look.
On December 7th, 2016 the Vegas Golden Knights received notice that their trademark application had been denied by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) due to the likelihood of confusion with the College of St. Rose Golden Knights. On June 6th, 2017, the Vegas Golden Knights responded in a 1,347-page document citing hundreds of examples explaining why they believe there is not a likelihood of confusion.
Unfortunately, for the Vegas Golden Knights, that response was still not fully compelling enough for the USPTO, but it was good enough to end the “will they change the name” drama. The Vegas Golden Knights filed two trademarks, one for “entertainment services, namely, professional ice hockey exhibitions” and another for “clothing.” The first was approved, the second was not.
This means the team name is exclusively trademarked when used for hockey games, and more importantly, confirms the team will not have to change their name. The clothing trademark, on the other hand, was suspended meaning the Golden Knights still do not own the exclusive rights to print the name on gear.
For the first time since 2015, an NHL player filed for arbitration, went to the hearing, and was awarded a contract via arbitration.
Nate Schmidt, the player Vegas selected from the Washington Capitals at the Expansion Draft, was awarded a two year contract worth $4.45M.
Prior to the arbitration hearing it was reported Schmidt and his agent were seeking a one year deal for $2.75M while the Golden Knights were looking for a two year deal worth around $1M per year. Aside from the obvious difference in contract value, the length was an important portion of these negotiations, and likely the reason an arbitration hearing was necessary.
Schmidt, 26, will be eligible for unrestricted free agency at the end of his next contract, so it would have suited him nicely to be on a one year deal. Vegas on the other hand preferred to keep him under control for as long as possible, especially before having the opportunity to see him play in a Golden Knights jersey.
**There are three images in that Instagram post. Click the arrows to see the other two**
Marc-Andre Fleury took to social media today to show off the mask he will be wearing for the Golden Knights.
Looking at it head-on, the Vegas Golden Knights primary “V” logo is featured starting above and going through the facemask. It gets lost a bit in the straight-on picture but looking from the side it’s a bit more evident.
The left-hand side is a collage of many different elements from the Vegas Strip including the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, the high roller, Luxor, New York New York’s Statue of Liberty, and the Stratosphere. There are also multiple references to “Golden Knights.” The full logo is shown on a shield near the bottom corner of the mask, and there’s another knight helmet with the “Y” shaped “barbute.” (Read this, that last sentence will make more sense) It kind of looks like King Leonidas’ helmet from 300.
The other side has a knight riding a giant horse. The knight is wearing yet another style helmet not resembling the Golden Knights at all, but he is holding a shield with the Vegas “Sword Star.” The horse is wearing a gold suit of armor as well. Finally, on the chin of the mask, there appears to be a flowery like design which is very similar to the pattern in the gold portion of the Golden Knights jerseys.