One of our goals here at SinBin.vegas is to be the voice of the valley when it comes to the NHL. In trying to do so we often have the opportunity to interact with some incredible people (and excellent writers) who are equally as passionate about hockey in Las Vegas as we are. Therefore, we wanted to give you, our readers, the opportunity to let your voice be heard via guest posts to the site.
Our next guest post comes from the Avry Lewis-McDougall.
June 22nd, 2016.
It’s a day that people won’t forget. The day the NHL formally became the first league in the Big Four to jump head first into putting a team in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It’s something I’ve thought about for a long time over the years, man how cool would it be if we had a major sports team in this city? Growing up I’ve spent a lot of time traveling to Vegas with my parents for pleasure or helping out my father who works in fashion and something always felt like it was missing in the city.
Don’t get me wrong, Las Vegas is a place that I could live in and the 51s and UNLV are great but a full time major team was needed.
Even further, for someone born in 1993 this feels like a team for our generation. A millennial squad to the fullest extent. We haven’t had expansion in any of the major North American leagues since 2004 when the Charlotte Bobcats entered the NBA. 2004! To the internet era that may as well have been 1954.
This is also the first expansion team in any of the major leagues to be created in the social media era, and of course we’re nothing but smart alecks when it comes to names and I’m not exempt from that as I’ve suggested the Las Vegas My Wife Left Me’s for a name as well as the Las Vegas BOFAs but hey, it’s a sports team in Nevada, what’s traditional about any of this?
This squad means the stigma of gambling is finally gone, do you know how cool it is to see the NHL beat out the NBA, MLB and NFL for this market? Sure the Oakland Raiders are looking at moving to the city in a year but they can’t lay claim to the fact of being the first major team in the city.
Las Vegas is hopefully going to come out of the gate after the newly formatted expansion draft and Entry draft and hopefully not be hot garbage like so many of their other expansion brothers before them. The NHL can’t afford this team to put up 39 points ala the 1999-00 Atlanta Thrashers, who could that possibly benefit in a market like this?
The way that this team is being set up hopefully shows that handicapping a new team out of the gate is just silly, why have 30 teams that can compete and have another stumbling for five to seven years? So what if the new kids on the block make the playoffs in year one, or heaven forbid in three to four years are cup contenders, what would be wrong with that?
The Vegas team also means that a new generation of kids from a non traditional market will get to have a team of their own. I’m in Nevada at least three times a year and in sporting apparel stores the LA Kings and Chicago Blackhawks have become the quasi home teams in the area. Now the Golden/Silver/Desert Knights can be that true home franchise.
I loved seeing Auston Matthews, a kid from Scottsdale, Arizona go #1 overall in this year’s draft, it showed that the game is growing even more and who knows one day, maybe one day a kid who grew up cheering for the Las Vegas Blank Knights (I know it won’t be Blank Knights but that would be hilarious) will be up on that podium accepting an NHL jersey from Gary Bettman who’ll be our commissioner from now until the 25th century.
I grew up in a city where when you come out of the womb you’re fed hockey straight out of the bottle and Mark Messier slaps you on the behind in the delivery room, but something about this as a hockey city always intrigued me even as an Albertan, then again hey, I broke into sports media as a self trained 15 year old reporter, not exactly traditional, just like this franchise, I guess we attracted each other!
The 2017-18 NHL season isn’t that far off, I mean heck, it seemed like it was just yesterday that T Mobile Arena was just an idea, and now it’s built, and ice is down, and UNLV will get people ready by having a game at the barn vs Arizona State in October.
That first franchise game in Fall 2017 will be a historic one not just for the NHL, but for sports in general because finally without question, Las Vegas will be a major player in professional team sports.
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