Are the Vegas Golden Knights helping the NHL’s attention and popularity? TSN’s Darren Dreger suggested the positive impact expansion has had on the league could’ve been a reason the NHL decided to reveal expansion lists.
I think they would had to have heard and recognize some of the backlash mostly coming from the media. And maybe the marketing people internally, with the National Hockey League also recognized that this is missed opportunity. You want as many layers of media talking about expansion, the Vegas Golden Knights, speculating, reporting… It just adds another level of excitement. Darren Dreger, TSN
Dreger went on to say public intrigue has been noticeable this season and the NHL wants to continue the ride. Making the expansion draft more fan friendly will only benefit the league’s popularity. Specifically, with the fans of the Golden Knights. Dreger also discussed the reaction some players would have once the expansion list was revealed.
I think there will be players who feel jilted by the fact that their general manager had to make a tough call. There’s definitely going to players unhappy. -Dreger
What’s worse for the jilted player? Being drafted by Vegas or being forced to go back to the team that left you high and dry? Let’s start with the obvious, what drafted player is really going to be pissed to move to Vegas? Sure, Michael Grabner may be sour because the Rangers let him go, but it can’t last long. Between the weather, cost of living, and “entertainment,” most players will be happy they got the call from George McPhee. Plus, most players selected will be happy to play in Las Vegas is because of the clean slate offered here. More ice time and better opportunities don’t come often to a career third or fourth line player. In a sense, Vegas offers each player more than just playing time and low taxes. It’s a chance to make a serious impact in a city without stars like Crosby, Stamkos or Doughty.
Half the fanbase in Las Vegas will know the players and their career. In some cities Dale Weise would get questioned about his underachieving career. In Las Vegas, Weise will be asked if he’s ate at Lindo Michoacán yet. It’s a free pass for everyone with a past. In a way, Las Vegas doesn’t really care about what anyone did before. That alone is enough of a draw for some players to secretly pray to be on the move.
Now other teams may be slightly rocky after the expansion drama. I’m sure the Senators will send Bobby Ryan a care package with potpourri and soft rock mix tapes after McPhee passes. After the expansion draft, 30 other teams will be spending the summer repairing relationships. In Vegas, it’ll be nothing but free lunches, meet and greets and goofy questions from the SinBin.vegas. That alone is a reason any player should embrace expansion.