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Golden Knights Mount Rushmores

Happy 4th of July!

To me, one of the most American things in the world is Mount Rushmore. The fact that someone carved the faces of four Presidents into the side of a mountain in South Dakota is both absurd and amazing at the same time. Can’t get more patriotic than that.

So, let’s honor this great feat of American spirit by creating some Mount Rushmores of our own. The only requirement for each category is that there must be exactly four people chosen.

Defensemen
Nate Schmidt, Shea Theodore, Alex Pietrangelo, Deryk Engelland

There’s really only one guaranteed easy selection and that’s Theodore. After that, there’s a group of five or six that could be chosen as the final three. Engelland seemed like the easiest next choice based on his history with the franchise and playing incredibly tough minutes the first season. After that, I opted to go for Schmidt and Pietrangelo over McNabb in a close call. McNabb will probably pass Schmidt this year due to longevity but Nate’s overall impact both on and off the ice still give him the nod for now. Pietrangelo gets the call simply cause he’s the best blue liner the team has ever had.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Scorers
Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson, Max Pacioretty, Jack Eichel

The first two are obvious. Marchessault leads the franchise in goals with 122 while Karlsson remains the single-season leader with the insane 43-goal year. Reilly Smith actually has one more goal as a Golden Knight than Pacioretty, but Max has played in nearly 100 fewer games. The final slot was going to go to Mark Stone, but I just couldn’t leave Eichel off of this. He’s going to lead the team in scoring multiple times over the next few years and he has the best chance of anyone to break Karlsson’s record. Mount Rushmore isn’t usually for forward-thinking, but it’s going to look awfully weird in a few years if Eichel isn’t up there, so let’s just do it and save ourselves the future explanations.

200-foot player
Mark Stone, Reilly Smith, William Karlsson, Alec Martinez

The first three are all easy. Stone and Karlsson have both been Selke finalists and if Smith played in Toronto or Montreal he’d probably have been right there with them. The last one was tough. Theodore, Pietrangelo, Roy, Stephenson, and Schmidt were all considered, but in the end, Martinez gets the nod. Since coming over in the trade he’s been a rock on the back end while also becoming one of VGK’s most dangerous power play weapons. The guy scored in his first game as a Golden Knight, then tripped over his own feet into the boards, and without him, the defense went to crap most of last year.

VGK spirit
Alex Tuch, Jonathan Marchessault, Mark Stone, Zach Whitecloud

This one is about who is the proudest to be a Golden Knight. While Deryk Engelland was considered, his loyalty always seemed to lie more with Vegas than it did the Golden Knights (I’m not sure if that makes sense, but it does in my mind so go with it). Tuch was the runaway favorite here, which is sad because he was eventually traded. Marchessault constantly refers to the organization as the “pride and joy” of his career, and Stone is the team’s first captain. It’s the last one that was tricky. Whitecloud’s love for the team starts with his decision to pick VGK when he could have gone pretty much anywhere else for the same price. Then, he battled his way through the minor league system jumping over higher-touted players to become an everyday player for the team. He’s as team-first a guy as they come both on and off the ice. Plus, like Tuch before he was traded, it’s the only organization they can be tied to.

Underrated player
Chandler Stephenson, Brayden McNabb, Erik Haula, Tomas Nosek

We’re almost to the point where we talk so much about how underrated Stephenson is that he falls out of the category, but I don’t think we’re there yet. McNabb is an obvious candidate here too. Haula makes the cut for a few reasons, but most notably how much he scored. Most people don’t associate Haula as a key goal scorer for this franchise, but he still sits 11th all-time despite playing just 91 regular season games as a Golden Knight. I also have a soft spot for the double-OT goal against the Kings, the first playoff overtime goal in team history. As for Nosek, he did everything for the Golden Knights and almost made the 200-foot player list. There was never a situation where you felt concerned with having him on the ice and the dude came up with some of the most incredibly timed goals in team history.

Moment
Engelland’s Speech, Theodore’s GWG vs TBL, Stone OT GWG vs COL, Lifting the Cambell Bowl in WPG

For a franchise that’s only been around for six years, there were a lot to choose from here. Deryk’s speech was a no-brainer and the little informational plaque at the base of this Mount Rushmore would also commemorate the Nosek goal. The Theodore goal the moment most people realized just how good that first year team was and as much as has gone on since I still think it’s the loudest the building has ever been. The Stone goal is the seminal moment from the most impressive series win ever, over Colorado in 2021. And finally, the moment the Golden Knights huddled around the trophy after they had won the Western Conference still remains the gold standard for what all future VGK teams are trying to reach.

Pregame show
Winnipeg (cutting the Jet in half), Seattle (welcoming the Kraken to the league), the OG (sword and stone), San Jose (stabbing the shark)

This one really only needs pictures.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas)

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

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25 Comments

  1. THE hockey GOD

    When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a people to advance from that subordination in which they have hitherto remained, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the equal and independent station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s god entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the change

    We hold these truths to be [sacred and undeniable] self evident, that all men are created equal and independent; that from that equal creation they derive in rights inherent and inalienables, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these ends, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government shall become destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing it’s powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes: and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. but when a long train of abuses and usurpations, begun at a distinguished period, and pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to [subject] reduce them to arbitrary power, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. —

    S

    for imposing taxes on us without our consent;

    for depriving us of the benefits of trial by jury;

    for transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses;

    for taking away our charters, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments;

    for suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever;

    he has abdicated government here, withdrawing his governors, and declaring us out of his alegiance and protection;

    he has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people:

    h

    he has incited treasonable insurrections of our fellow citizens with the allurements of forfeiture and confiscation of our property:

    We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled do , in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these states, reject and renounce the allegiance and subjection to the kinds of Great Britain and all others whe may herafter claim by, through, or under them; we utterly dissolve and break off all political connection which may have heretofore subsisted between us and the people or parliament of Great Britain; and finally we do assert and declare these colonies to be free and independent states, and that as free and independent states they shall herafter have [full] power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

  2. knights fan in minny

    first shot lehner faced was a goal now that’s a moment

  3. Larry Swaaley

    Fire the owner and general manager. The team is getting worse, not better. Marc Andre Fleury should be resigned and then be part of management when he retires.

  4. The one glaring omission, in my view: Carrier was left out of your consideration, therefore he should be in your ” Under- rated players”. He works quietly, but always carries a Big Stick. Workhorse of the team, in my view.

  5. knights fan in minny

    winning goal by reaves against the jets in the wcf

  6. Dean

    VGK Spirit without MAF is ridiculous. He was the face of the franchise and hockey would not be the same in this city without him. You’re beginning to show as much disrespect to him as the front office and ownership did.

    • Dean, GOTTA put MAF in there SOMEWHERE, guess I didn’t see which category…I should added him, SPIRIT, it IS! ( He’s a ” given” on the inclusion of the best!)

  7. sb

    That’s a funny thing. The writers of Sin Bin will go to the ends of the earth to praise and worship MAF, but they left him off their lists of VKG ‘bests’. What I remember most is that MAF was the $7 million goaltender who came up lacking in the Playoffs each of his four years in Vegas. Couldn’t steal a Playoff game for his team. Was not a ‘difference maker’ in the Playoffs, Years 1, 2, 3 and 4. Not a Big Player in Vegas. Failed the Wild in their Playoff series too. Just a good goaltender. Certainly not worth $28 million.

    • knights fan in minny

      went to the cup the first year and you call that lacking

    • THE hockey GOD

      you got that right SB
      1- he blew it in finals, had terrible time between the posts, couldn’t stop
      a bus at bus stop
      2- he threw a tantrum when RL replaced him , he authorized his agent to put out a back stabbing cartoon; throwing the team, his coaches, the fans, and whole franchise under the bus
      3- he blew it in Montreal series with his bill buckner moment
      4- when he found out he was being traded, he said he would retire. Thus diminishing his trade value. He did no favor to the franchises or fans.

      FARCE
      of
      FRANCHISE

      good riddance.

      • Stephen Cupp

        1. They never would have been in the finals without him.
        2. Where is your proof that he authorized anything? If you ask Lehner it gave the team a good laugh and that’s about it.
        3. No it was the non-existant power play that blew that series.
        4. All he did was tell the truth. Chicago had to wait over a week for him to make up his mind.

        There is a reason Fleury is on a majority of the jerseys you see at T Mobile.

  8. Alberto

    Just a correction, if you’re talking about Theodore’s gwg from Tampa bay’s first visit to TMobile, that game ended with seconds remaining in regulation thanks to a late one timer PP goal from Theodore.

    https://youtu.be/B9sD0_YegGo

  9. Vic

    Mount Rushmore is all about heritage, building and preserving. Nice place to visit as well. Choosing four players for different categories waters down the process. Only four heads qualify…..Foley, Fleury, Engelland and Marchy. Petro and Max in the mix, are you joking? Their deals and contracts have fueled the death spiral the team faces. Perhaps we would mention Petro and Max if we were nominating for Pearl Harbor.

    • Vic, that is smart humor! What an analogy!! I also like the idea of naming the original team members. Marchy, MAF, Carrier, Engelland, all deserve their place in VGK history!

  10. Tim

    Fleury is an enigma absolutely the face of the franchise and at the same time the goat of the franchise. Year one to get to the finals is always a team effort but your goalie did make the difference and we did ride his coattails. Year two another good year for Fleury until the San Jose playoff game 7. How can any goalie give up 4 goals in 5 minutes and thenMarshy ties it we get a reprieve and Fleury give up the winning goal in overtime. No argument that that was a choke job for the ages. Year 3 can’t blame him much for that series mostly Lehner but when we lost game one 1 – zip the writing was on the wall zero offense in that series hard to blame the goalies. Year 4 Montreal finals to go to the Stanley cup we were a shoe in no way Montreal could beat us but Fleury as in year 2 found a way to swallow the apple again and sent us home packing. When they talk about the history of the Knights Fleury will be the first name mentioned and rightfully so what the team and he did in year one will NEVER be duplicated in any sport and has it’s place in history.
    When they picked up Lehner obviously DeBoer and management lost confidence in Fleury but in hind site the way things have progressed was Lehner ever the man to replace Fleury I know at the time Ken and Jason thought it was not sure how they feel today. I never ever wanted Lehner we all know someone with drug and alcohol problems and good for them to get help but there’s no fucking way I’d put a drug addict in the most critical position on the team. Now most are on the bandwagon to get him out of dodge but I don’t see other teams that need this type of trouble so were stuck with him, Patch, Petro, and Martinez all older with bad contracts while the rest of the Pacific is getting younger. Trading Patch and Martinez would take a lot of pressure off our cap and maybe they’ll find a way I sure hope so.

    • Stephen Cupp

      You’re blaming the goalie for the team going 0 for the series on the powerplay. Give me a break. If you can’t score a power-play goal in the series you have no business advancing.

  11. Stephen Cupp

    How can you possibly have Eichel on this list? Mount Rushmore is about what has happened. Not what’s about to happen. There is a reason you see more Fleury jerseys than anyone else.

  12. And somehow you believe an agent with ONE big client he has for the clients entire career didn’t at least give him a heads up about the sword pic

  13. IMOP it should be the following four names on VGK Mount Rushmore:

    29
    81,
    71,
    27

    19 and 71 was a coin flip.

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