Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Can’t Create Rivalries, They Must Create Themselves

I grew up the son of a Bruins fan and understood the Boston/Montreal rivalry, but as a kid I began to appreciate the Canadiens on a family summer trip to Nova Scotia. Their logo, history, players, I loved it all. I got gruff from friends when I returned home wearing a Montreal shirt.


The Canadiens-Bruins rivalry goes back a long ways. So of course kids are told to hate one or the other. Same goes for the Blackhawks and Blues, Penguins and Capital, or the Sharks and Kings. Teams hating one another on the ice are how organic rivalries begin in the stands. They are not crafted by execs on Madison Avenue.

At some point next season, Vegas will play divisional games on NBC Sport’s Wednesday Night Rivalries. It’ll get a big laugh on social media. The NHL will try and manufacture a rival for the Golden Knights, so they can fit in with everyone else. But the problem is that it’ll be fake. The Pacific heavyweights already have natural rivals, and they aren’t worried about the new kids on the block who they expect to be the whipping boy for at least a few years. Possibly over time, if the Golden Knights beat them enough, Anaheim, LA and San Jose will feel differently, but in the short term, a California/Nevada rivalry is pie in the sky. Geographically, Western Canada doesn’t make sense, and even if it did, the Canucks, Flames, and Oilers are too fed up with themselves to spend any time hating us.

So that leaves the Arizona Coyotes. Which is the obvious choice. Next season the Coyotes should be closest in talent with Vegas. The Knights will lack some of the young, developed talent, but veteran play should be close to equal between the two clubs. With that in mind, games against Arizona could be tight. In close divisional games, players tend to get angry. At times, season series can turn into a penalty-plagued, postseason environments. Cross-checks, elbows, fights, the whole nine. Once the players hate one another it changes everything for the fans. Rivalries need to be organic and all the pieces are there for it to happen with Arizona.

So hope for brawl lines, instigating minors and fighting majors when the Coyotes and Golden Knights match up. That’s what’s going to create the rivalry. Not some mildly-well produced Wednesday Night TV commercials. We as fans need to see the hatred, and feel the connection to our players. Only then, can will we truly hate another team.

Great, now Vegas will be forced to sign John Scott.

Previous Podcast #49: The Grinch (Part II)


Luce Talked McPhee Into Going Younger


  1. Ned Ryerson

    It will all come down to the playoffs. A couple of series against one team will set a rivalry.

  2. PhiSig150

    It’s hard to get worked up over Arizona unless as Ned stated there’s some hard fought playoff series but that seems a ways off. Arizona to me has always just been an afterthought of a state. It has this weird red neck vibe (I like to refer to it as the Alabama of the South West) and nobody from California or Nevada really ever gives it much attention. Where do they even play? Scottsdale? Isn’t that a just retirement community or something? Or is it Glendale? Which is only really known for baseball spring training. Either way no one gives two shits about Arizona even the people that live there. Now LA on the other hand is a different story.

    A lot (Las) Vegas residents are from Southern California (myself included). Many of us, even if we are just getting into hockey heavily for the first time, know a Kings fan and if my cousin is any indication they’re annoying on a Blackhawk fan level. Kings fans are already talking shit about our name and logo. Apparently they own all things with a shield and anything remotely medieval themed.

    Plus Beat LA is easy to chant (hasn’t there been chant related concerns). I’ve heard it for years at Dodgers and Lakers games and it’ll be kind of fun (and very strange) to chant it now. Some rivalries are really just regional. While I hate all things Orange County and would love for us all to hate the Ducks it’s hard to get enough people to rally against Disney Land for some reason. LA just seems like the natural rival to me. So Go Knights! Beat LA!!

  3. Michael

    Knights-Coyotes can be the Desert Duel. Knights-Kings can be the Royal Revolt. Knights-Ducks can be the Tourist Trap Tilt.

  4. Tom

    I see an instant rivalry with the Kings that goes beyond their mutual medieval themes. The Kings have always been a favorite here. When they played here in the Frozen Fury games they were always treated as the home team. They have a huge fan base here. Now they’ve played their last preseason game where they’ll be treated as the favorite. The long honeymoon is over. I think there will be an immediate hatred between the 2 clubs. As a Kings fan and a season ticket holder, I can’t wait.

  5. Tom

    I think L.A. will kinda be like that ex-girlfriend who isn’t ready to accept the fact that she’s been replaced. Should make for some good hockey and a great rivalry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén