Like all of you I am proud to call Las Vegas home. I met my wife here, my kids were born here, and I know how special this city is. To all the brave first responders that have worked timelessly and courageously throughout this whole tragedy, we thank you. To the families and friends of the victims, know we will do everything we can to help you and our city heal. We are Vegas Strong. -Deryk Engelland
Prior to last night’s game, Deryk Engelland went from being “the guy on the team who lives in Vegas,” to an immortal figure in Las Vegas history as the voice of the city’s first team during one of the worst moments any city has ever endured.
Then, the game started, and this happened…
It’s a moment that can only happen in sports because if it happened anywhere else, we wouldn’t believe it.
The speech… the goal… the win.
They are going to be tough to top. This team may go on to make the playoffs at some point. They may even eventually lift the Stanley Cup and carry it down the Las Vegas Strip. But there may never be another moment like that in the history of the Vegas Golden Knights.
It was probably one of the more emotional times in my life, going out there with the first responders and seeing them out there. With all that they have been through over the past week. It was a little nerve-racking to speak in front of that many people, but the response from the crowd was phenomenal. It was the least we can do for the people that went through that. -Deryk Engelland
I thought it was unbelievable. He was very nervous, but he looked like he was calm, cool and collected. He scored a goal…pretty amazing. -The Creator
It gave me some goosebumps. He’s always talks about this city and how much he loves it. I know he cares a lot. I’m happy he got to do it and he’s such a gentleman. He got a big goal for us too right away, which was nice. -Marc-Andre Fleury
It was great. That’s tough to do especially before a game. I’m sure he was nervous even just for the first game here, and then for him to do that, I don’t know how he focused on playing hockey, but he did, and he played great, and he got a huge goal for us, which was awesome. -James Neal
He made a great speech out on the ice and for us to come out the way that we played the first 7 or 8 minutes was incredible. It was the perfect script for us and it’s the way things should have went. A lot of times it doesn’t go that way, but tonight was the perfect night for our group. -Gerard Gallant
What a moment. What a night. What a person.
And as if it couldn’t get any better, the speech lasted exactly 58 seconds. The same amount of time as the moment of silence that preceded Engelland’s incredible words. One second for every life that was lost on October 1st.
There’s no word that correctly sums it up, so I’ll go with the closest one we’ve got in the English language.