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Former NHL Coach Praises Vegas For Their Culture And Success

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

After three seasons in the league, no Western Conference team has pestered the Golden Knights like the Minnesota Wild. In eight games, the Wild are 6-1-1 against Vegas, including a 3-1-0 record at T-Mobile Arena. Minnesota’s success against Vegas came under former coach Bruce Boudreau who was happy to share his Sin City experiences with TSN Toronto.

We had great results in Vegas. In the three years they were in the league we’ve only lost once. If you look at our team in Minnesota out of the nine games in three years we only lost once to them. –Bruce Boudreau, Former NHL coach on TSN Toronto

Although he’s off by one game, Boudreau clearly enjoyed road trips to Vegas. His teams had success and he met his favorite poker player, Daniel Negreanu.

The 2007-08 Jack Adams winner was at first concerned about how his players would perform in Las Vegas, especially since there were reports of the “Vegas Flu” infecting incoming teams.

When we got the schedule the first thing that I was hoping was that we played somewhere else the night before. You’d get in at two in the morning and you’d go straight to bed. –Boudreau, TSN Toronto

Boudreau took a more laid-back approach when his team traveled to Las Vegas though. Sure, it was possible his players would take advantage of the unique NHL stopover, but he didn’t set any mandates. The coach’s main focus was planning on how to beat a really good Golden Knights club. Boudreau didn’t police his squad when they visited any other city so why change when they hit the Strip?

The one thing I found over the years is guys are really professional. If we had a day off you could see them all at the tables and they were playing. They weren’t drinking or anything. I’d much rather have them do that for a couple of hours. I don’t think they ever worried if the lost a thousand or won a thousand. –Boudreau, TSN Toronto

Vegas’ success didn’t surprise Boudreau too much. Like other coaches around the league, he had seen what George McPhee built from the Expansion Draft and how Gerard Gallant had them off to a hot start. Also, he had knowledge of two budding stars Vegas acquired in the Expansion Draft.

William Karlsson for example, I had him in Anaheim for about two months. He was an average player, looked like he was smart. We ended up trading him to Columbus and Columbus sent him down and I think he went twenty games in Springfield without a point. For him to come and then get 75 points, who would’ve known? Maybe he just needed the opportunity. Shea Theodore, he became a star and he was basically let go by Anaheim. –Boudreau, TSN Toronto

Somehow a normal weekday sports radio interview in Toronto turned into a Golden Knights segment. The three radio hosts (two former NHL’ers) were curious if the COVID affected season would impact the love affair with the Golden Knights. It was clear the three mic hogs hadn’t attended many games at T-Mobile Arena.

I think the hockey fans will still be the same. After three years the local hockey fan knows much more than coming to a game screaming and having fun. If they are anything like us Canadians or real hockey fans they’ll be so happy it came back. They’ll be cheering at every offside. –Boudreau, TSN Toronto

With the latest trade noise circulating around the team, it’s nice to hear some positivity from an outsider like Boudreau. He’s well aware of what the Golden Knights organization built and how aggressive they are chasing the Stanley Cup.

And thanks to Gabby, now all of Toronto is concerned the Golden Knights will end up beating their Leafs in the Cup Final.

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10 Comments

  1. Hague_for_Norris

    Bold of you to assume Toronto will get out of the first round.

  2. Tim

    Max on the trading block. I’ve said all a long he’s a one trick pony and what we gave up to get him is shameful. Now we’ll get half back of what we traded for just like the Tomas Tater trade another cluster f@@k. In fairness they have made some good trades so we’ll see how it plays out.

    • knights fan in minny

      why trade your leading scorer who else scores 30 goals on this team

  3. ulf

    Quite a culture…get a guy, trade him a season or two later. Vegas management is getting a bad reputation, rightfully so. Wonder how Pietrangelo feels now…

    • Pietrangelo is a pro, a man sitting on a $80,000,000 gold mine, his worries are over, he knows what to do. We need to worry about this next season, we are in danger of not seeing a game with a live audience in Vegas. The NHL needs to step up, figure things out. How about fans attending that are 50 and younger, no health issues, show a health history. Do Something, wtf !!! Be inventive, not one size fits all, stupid idiots running the NHL need to be smarter, stop trying to destroy this great game.

      • ulf

        after watching and playing this game for over 45 years, I think it’s safe to say the NHL surprised me and did a fine job with the bubble this past playoffs.
        Reducing fighting (and the subsequent lawsuits) was a great idea, I like hitting when there’s a play but the big goons are now mostly out of the game, leaving skill, speed and the like.
        A few adjustments would be good but overall the league is trending in the right direction.
        This curcumvention of the cap should be come down on hard though, no matter which team is over by the time they start counting the money.

      • Douglas MacLeod

        Will they then agree to isolate for at least 10 days following or as a minimum agree not to visit a list of places such as long term care facilities during that period of time. And what about all those people with whom they may come into contact, like perhaps aging parents or grandparents, or people who have cormobidities, how do they protect themselves. Your view of the issue is way too simplistic.

  4. I work at a Strip casino, not mentioning the name. Many teams stay at my hotel, the visiting teams really enjoy themselves. Never seen heavy drinking or abusive behavior. Seen Crosby play a little roulette with a teammate, cool guy. Dealt roulette to 5 Coyote players, again, all cool guys. Nobody ever has played heavy action, it’s all smaller play, all the players enjoyed themselves. But this I know, all have been gentleman. We employee’s talk amoung ourselves in the breakroom about visiting players, so many of us love hockey, everyone enjoys the visiting teams. We even had a visiting team hold a poker tournament at our hotel and everyone enjoyed themselves, a pit boss even joked about how we beat them the night before and everyone was a good sport about it. I don’t think it was “Vegas Flu”, we were just so much better than everyone else, we dominated !!

  5. the president Elect- Hockey God

    they traded 88 due to his drug test failure, patches they won’t trade.

    they will try to keep manipulating the game

    what if they are over the cap ? They lose a draft pick ???

    will they be forced to pay a fine ? What are the consequences? They should tell bettman to go scre w himself , we have a pandemic on our hands to deal with. NHL is teetering on edge. Owners have no revenues. They are handling this league like the idiotic libtard blue state governors. VERY POORLY.

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