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T-Mobile Arena Named Toughest To Play In As Visiting Team In 2024 NHLPA Player Poll

Each season the NHLPA releases the results of an anonymous poll given to players on a wide variety of topics. Different Golden Knights players, the team, the city of Las Vegas, and T-Mobile Arena have named over the course of the last seven years and it happened again this season.

T-Mobile Arena was also named among the arenas with the best ice in the league, garnering 5% of the vote for 5th place. It’s the 5th year VGK’s home rink has been given this honor.

Here are the results including Vegas over the previous six seasons.

2022-23
Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (5th place, 6%)
Best Road City: Las Vegas (1st Place, 31.7%)
Best Locker Room Guy: Phil Kessel (T-2nd Place, 2.7%)

2021-22
Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (T-4th Place, 5.9%)
Best Road City: Las Vegas (1st Place, 30.6%)
Best Hair: William Karlsson (2nd Place, 7.9%)

2020-21
Best Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury (2nd Place, 8.9%)

2019-20
Best Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury (3rd Place, 8.9%)
Best Trash Talker: Ryan Reaves (3rd Place, 11.1%)
Worst Trash Talker: Nick Cousins (4th Place, 5.6%)
Best Golfer: Mark Stone (5th Place, 3.8%)
Best Visitors Dressing Room: T-Mobile Arena (2nd Place, 26.4%)
Best Jersey: Vegas Golden Knights (T-2nd Place, 6.8%)
Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (4th Place, 8.7%)

2018-19
Best Goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury (4th Place, 6.5%)
Best TV Analyst When Retired: Ryan Reaves (3rd Place, 2.4%)
Best Trash Talker: Ryan Reaves (3rd Place, 5.5%)
Best Arena Atmosphere: T-Mobile Arena (1st Place, 42.5%)
Best Ice: T-Mobile Arena (5th Place, 4.7%)
Best Hair: William Karlsson (3rd Place, 5.7%)

2017-18
Toughest Player: Ryan Reaves (1st Place, 44.7%)
Best Coach To Play For: Gerard Gallant (3rd Place, 11.6%)

Relive The Banner Ceremony

From ESPN broadcast

What a night it was at T-Mobile Arena as the Golden Knights immortalized their Stanley Cup championship by raising a beautiful banner to the rafters.

Watch the ceremony in its entirety below.

The slot machine was frickin’ cool I thought. The banner itself too, a great design. Once again they’ve done a great job here with those details of performance, art, and creativity. -Bruce Cassidy

We love living here and we love playing here. Any time you can bring up a theme to honor this city like we do. We had the Elvis wig last year and we’ll come up with something new this year to honor the city. -Mark Stone

It was an emotional moment for sure. A happy moment, especially when they started playing that song. Goosebumps and all that. (The slot machine) was very Vegas, and wouldn’t expect anything less. -William Karlsson

I haven’t seen a banner with that much detail on it before so it was really cool to see it go up. -Adin Hill

Ranking The 7 Years Of Center Circles

Earlier this week the Golden Knights unveiled the new center circle for this season’s games at T-Mobile Arena. It’s the seventh consecutive season Vegas will see a new center circle in the neutral zone. Let’s go back over all seven and rank them from best to worst.

#7 – Year 5

It’s kind of unfair because I actually really do like this design, but it’s a flower, and they put it in the center of the ice for the season right after the front office jettisoned the most popular and influential player in franchise history… who also happened to garner the nickname Flower. The red is a great touch, the use of the filigree design in the logo is a plus, and it has a sort of desert feel. But… It’s a flower. There’s just no escaping it.

#6 – Year 4

I’ve honestly never understood this one. What exactly is the design? It kind of looks like it could be something close to a spade or a club on a playing card, but I see an inkblot more so than anything (and you never want my thoughts on inkblots). The inner circle cutting the entire graphic into essentially three circles is just too much for me too. The stars are nice though.

#5 – Year 1

This is really just a nostalgic thing. Obviously, there’s nothing to this design and there’s no doubt it’s the worst red-line design in team history too, but come on, how can you not love anything and everything Year 1? What’s going on with the spacing on the word “Arena” too? Oh well, Year 1 > Flower.

#4 – Year 6

This design is completely saved by the glow-in-the-dark aspect. The nod to the Reverse Retro jerseys is nice (those jerseys are amazing), it’s just the color that’s a little odd. That being said, a two-tone VGK logo always makes me happy. I’ve always liked the two-tone logo better than the actual logo with all four colors.

#3 – Year 2

This is what a center circle is meant to look like in the NHL. It’s not over-the-top, yet it still gets in all of the elements we’re looking for. Have to love the Sword Star logo making multiple appearances too. Clean, precise, nice.

#2 – Year 3

This one is spectacular. Whereas the last one is what most teams would consider a standard center circle, this one fits what Vegas does for theirs. The pattern around the outside is perfect, there’s a ton of gold, and the colors match brilliantly. Honestly, I thought this one would never be topped.

#1 – Year 7

Absolutely stunning. Personally, I’m a fan of celebrating the heck out of a championship season. I want massive banners all over the arena, use the words “Stanley Cup Champions” literally every time they say Golden Knights, and wear the patch on the jersey until the stitching wears out. This though, oh my goodness, it’s so much better than all of that. The design borrows from the Stanley Cup, as if Vegas painted the Cup gold. It’s subtle, yet arrogant. The perfect combination for the reigning, defending, undisputed champions of the world.

**Stick tap to TheFaceoff.net for the images. It’s worth a click over to the site to see the full image of each season’s rink. Really impressive graphics to give you a nice trip down memory lane.**

Sharks Credit Limited Golden Knights Fans For Noisy Game, Poor Officiating

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It may have only been 20% but it felt like a full house last night at T-Mobile Arena. Not only did Vegas get a boost from their star goaltender but also from the 3,473 fans in attendance. Labeled the loudest fans in hockey, the limited amount of VGK faithful made sure San Jose heard them loud and clear.

According to San Jose coach Bob Boughner, the building was loud.

We were in another team’s building. There were fans in here tonight. It was loud and I think that makes things harder on everybody. -Bob Boughner, San Jose coach

One theme brought up several times by members of the Sharks was the officiating. San Jose felt there were two or three missed calls that should’ve gone their way. Even Sharks broadcaster Randy Hanh was upset with the zebras.

It’s possible the officials were distracted by the crowd. Like the players, they’ve been skating in empty arenas as well. More than likely Boughner was complimenting the noisy crowd by taking a jab at the referee. Either way, last night the fans made some impact on the ice.

Defenseman Shea Theodore sure thought so.

Yeah, even when we had 15% the fans were still buzzing. The more fans the better. I thought they were loud and there was definitely times we were feeding off that. Hopefully, that continues moving forward. -Shea Theodore

Since the inaugural season, Vegas fans have been recognized as one of the loudest and supportive fanbases in hockey. The team on the ice has undoubtedly benefited from their faithful’s rowdiness. Including last night’s victory against the Sharks, the Golden Knights are now 86-35-12 when playing on home ice.

Home ice advantage hasn’t existed in over a year now, but it should in these upcoming playoffs. More so if the Golden Knights play a team in California or Canada who aren’t rushing to open venues. Playing in an opponent’s empty building while they must come to Vegas and contend with a half-packed T-Mobile Arena should be a major advantage for VGK.

Everyone from fans to the state government is hoping T-Mobile Arena will get back to normal occupancy by the start of the postseason. Signs are beginning to point in that direction but nothing can be certain in 2021. (From what we are hearing, 50% seems likely soon but 100% still seems a bit far off.)

We now know what 3,400+ fans sound like and the effect an opposing coach believes they have. Imagine what 8,000+ can do.

Vegas Bubble: Take Two?

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The possibilities are endless. Start date, season length, realignment, you name it, the NHL is considering it for the 2020-21 season.

One such possibility, mainly due to travel restrictions, is a return to the bubble. But, this time, the league would have more than two.

The Athletic’s Michael Russo recently penned a terrific story including quotes from Bill Daly on the NHL’s plan for the upcoming season. In it, he included the idea of four regional “hubs” that would serve as central locations for each division.

Like Toronto and Edmonton, the NHL would probably “own and operate” the hotels and there will be some level of testing, but they’re not going to fence off the arena, hotels and restaurants. The league will do its best to control the environment, but players and staff should have more freedom (like going to dinner). -Michael Russo, The Athletic

Now, before you throw your hands up and scream bubble related profanities, know that these bubbles would likely include stadiums open to fans to watch.

The World Series, currently being played in Arlington, Texas, is the perfect example. Major League Baseball set up bubbles for the playoffs and now that we’ve reached the finale, they’ve actually invited fans in to watch the biggest games of the year.

The NHL could very well do the same and in fact, if they do it properly, teams could travel between bubbles a few times over the course of the year to allow more widespread competition.

Of course, Las Vegas is atop the list of potential regional bubble cities and will only become a stronger option with Lifeguard Arena opening and The Orleans laying ice for the AHL.

If it happens, it could mean up to eight teams in Vegas with multiple games daily at T-Mobile Arena, all of which are open to a limited number of fans. Sure, it’ll still be tough to be one of the 6,000 people that get to see the Golden Knights, but for any hockey fan, tickets would probably be easily available for all of the other games.

A hockey buffet for months on end on the Strip? Sign me up.

How An Impractical Idea By The NHL Has Dragged Las Vegas Through The Mud

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

For months, since the idea of hub cities was brought to the forefront, Vegas was widely considered the best option for the league. Every major reporter, be it national or local, declared Las Vegas to be the city with the best accommodations to deliver on the utopian bubble-world the NHL was seeking.

The problem is, the NHL doesn’t actually believe in their own irrational idea and the image of Las Vegas is getting unnecessarily slammed worldwide because of it.

The plan the NHL has laid out is to bring 12 teams from each conference to one central location in order to play out the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs and crown a team a champion. (Really, they just want the money that goes along with the event, but we’ll let that go for now.) Each “hub city” will house all 12 teams through the first two playoff rounds and then presumably the winners from one site will travel to the other to wrap up the conference finals and Stanley Cup Final.

The idea sounds amazing. Lock everyone in a specific area, test them all at the beginning to ensure everyone is healthy and COVID-19 free, and then have them all live there so no one is at risk of contracting the virus. Since there were to be no fans in the arenas anyway, playing every game at a neutral site is also a great way to limit travel, testing, and staff to tend to the games.

Here’s the issue and why it’s unnecessarily dragged Vegas through the mud. If the concept of the bubble actually worked, the surrounding areas wouldn’t make any difference. Once the bubble is “sealed” even if every person in the city in which its located gets infected, everyone inside the bubble is safe. Literally, the reason the term “bubble” is used.

But, if it is indeed true that Las Vegas is no longer being considered due to a spike in cases in the city, which has been written or said by pretty much everyone despite no official word on of it, then the league has proven they do not believe in their own concept. Instead, what they believe is that people will slip out of the bubble, others will slip in, and when it happens they want to limit the possibility of a bubble defector or bubble invaders contracting the virus. (Actually, they want to create the perception that they did everything in their power to avoid the inevitable from happening so they aren’t liable when it does, but we’ll let that go for now.)

So, in their fear of defectors and intruders, they’ve gone above and beyond to weed out cities that appear to have higher numbers of positive tests. Somehow, Vegas became one of those cities on the outs, despite being the only city on the NHL’s list to have actually held sporting events since the shutdown. The UFC has been holding events in Las Vegas since late May and has hosted 110 fighters over five different fight cards without a single case of Coronavirus to an athlete. The NHL though, believes there are too many cases and are instead creating both bubbles in Canada.

This unequivocally proves that the concept of the bubble is viewed as untrustworthy by the league. In a utopian world, there would be no defectors nor intruders and a negative test at the beginning would carry through the entirety of the playoffs as everyone is locked safely and soundly inside the bubble.

But utopia doesn’t exist and unfortunately, Las Vegas is paying for the half-baked idea that was concocted in the name of safety in the first place. (Actually, the hub city idea was likely pitched and ultimately accepted because it is financially much more viable than traveling and testing in buildings that won’t be making money off gate revenue, but we’ll let that go for now.)

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The Creator Explains The Delay In Announcing Plans To Take Care Of T-Mobile Arena Employees

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Yesterday the Golden Knights became the 31st team in the NHL to commit to paying arena employees for missed games due to the pause in the season.

The Golden Knights organization, players and Vegas Golden Knights Foundation will combine resources and planning to support those employees who may miss shifts due to the pause in the NHL season and pledge a minimum of $500,000 to these efforts. Leading the player contributions is goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury,who has committed to donating $100,000. -Golden Knights press release

Previously, every other team had made an announcement except the Golden Knights. In a pair of interviews with Vegas Hockey Hotline and JT The Brick, the Creator explained exactly why it took a bit longer for his team to make their announcement.

We wanted to be very specific about what we were doing. A lot of clubs made kind of a general statement. What I personally wanted to do was to make sure we get the money to the people who need it. We’re actually distributing it to the people who work, directly. That way we know they are going to get it. -The Creator on Vegas Hockey Hotline

We wanted to make sure we dealt with this ourselves, directly with the individuals that are working, to get the money from us. We don’t want it going through a third party. We’re making the decision. We know who the people are, we’re just getting our list together. -The Creator on Fox Sports Radio with JT The Brick

The tricky part in the Golden Knights situation is that employees at T-Mobile Arena work for a variety of employers. Many work for MGM. Others work for Levy, the company that handles food and beverage in the arena. Ushers work for a company called WeServe, and there are a few other third party companies involved as well.

So, The Creator says he wanted to take the middlemen out of the process to avoid any situations where the money would be dealt with in an unsavory manner.

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