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How Las Vegas Has Aided The Golden Knights To Buy A Cup-Winning Team

Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas

If you are lucky enough to call Las Vegas your home, you already know the power of the greatest city in the world. Over the last seven years, the rest of the NHL has been forced to understand and grasp the concept as well as the Golden Knights have used the city to their advantage to buy a Cup-winning hockey team rather than build it like most other teams are attempting to do.

From excellent weather to the ease of transportation to the tax-advantaged laws that keep millions of dollars in their pocket, Vegas offers everything an NHL player can dream of and the Golden Knights know it.

At every trade deadline and every offseason, stories trickle out about elite players from other cities who tell their teams they will not stay when their contract expires. That’s when the Golden Knights swoop in and present a much better option. “Don’t like Calgary? San Jose? Ottawa? St. Louis? Montreal? Well, let me show you what Vegas has to offer. Or, better yet, why don’t you just come and experience it, and then make your decision.”

The three examples at this deadline add to a list that dates back to the very first offseason following the Golden Knights’ run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018.

First, Anthony Mantha. A player on an expiring contract with no trade protection picked up his phone on Tuesday afternoon and saw a text saying he was headed from Washington to Las Vegas. Mantha had no choice in the matter, but on an expiring contract, he holds the cards to his future this summer. But the Golden Knights know that over the next two months, Vegas will woo this player like it has every other one before him and shift the choice back into the hands of the team.

Unlike pretty much every other team in the NHL, when the Golden Knights buy a rental player at the deadline, they feel like they have control of what happens next. If the player doesn’t work out or isn’t needed in the plans, they simply shake his hand and let him walk out the door on July 1st when the new year begins. But, if they like what they see in the 20+ game cameo, they know any competitive contract offer will be plenty enough to keep that player around.

Look no further than the next trade acquisition by the Golden Knights this week, Noah Hanifin. After spending six cold years in a Canadian city that for some reason thinks it’s located in the heart of Texas (I’ll never understand Cowboy culture, so it’s a me problem not you, Calgary), Hanifin decided it was time to leave. He alerted the Flames, and the Golden Knights swooped in to grab him at a discounted trade price that never would have been possible if Hanifin loved cowboy hats as much as Robin Lehner loves snakes.

Before he ever stepped foot in Las Vegas, the Golden Knights already knew they could bank on him signing a multi-year extension that would make him a core piece of the franchise. Heck, it hasn’t even happened yet and I’m confident enough to write it as if it’s a foregone conclusion.

Finally, there’s Tomas Hertl, a player who signed an eight-year $65.1 million contract to stay in San Jose, where he’d spent his entire career. It came with a full no-move clause guaranteeing him the peace of mind that he’d never have to move. Then, Vegas came calling, and at the drop of a hat, his house in Silicon Valley was on the market.

All of this is because of Las Vegas.

Sure, the fact that the team is a perennial winner helps, but the perfect combination of ingredients the city offers is the real selling point.

Players who have been around for years, players who just got here, free agents, rentals, and even draft picks, all want to be in Las Vegas. It gives the Golden Knights the ultimate negotiating power few other teams have. Not once in the history of the franchise has a player wanted out. In fact, there’s even an example of an agent going so far as to purposely attempt to sabotage a trade to keep his client in the valley. Thus, hometown discounts are the norm, sign and trades are light work, and any rental can turn into a long-term solution if the Golden Knights see fit.

Las Vegas offers the Golden Knights the upper hand in every transaction. For the last seven years, they’ve used it time and time again and it’s starting to anger everyone not on their side. Even that concept is very Vegas in it of itself. Either you love it or you hate it.

Either way, the house always wins.

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21 Comments

  1. Earl the Replanted Transplant

    It isn’t Las Vegas as much as it is the sweet sweet lack of income tax.

  2. Jake

    Location – Location – Location

    We have a home in Vegas but did enjoy “The Calgary Stampede!”

  3. knights fan in minny

    edmonton with a loss today

  4. knights fan in minny

    cotter a game time decision

  5. ThG

    I love it when Ken talks politics !!!

    🙂

  6. Emmanuel

    Cant wait to find out what the lines will be!

    I also have a feeling LA & EDM will cool down.

    • You better hope you are right if you’re a gambling man. Despite what some think on this site I am a avid VGK’s fan but having been around hockey longer than I care to remember makes me more of a realist regarding where we are. The door is rapidly closing whether you care to believe that or not. They lack the intensity at the moment necessary to win. Being down a goal or two previously didn’t mean much as they had the confidence necessary to come back, that hasn’t been the case lately and you can see that on the bench. Interviews after they always talk about what is necessary but by the time they return for next game it seems to have been forgotten. Action not words is what is required to be winners and actions start with the right attitude. To to get their act together.

      • Pistol Pete

        The eternal pessimist has spoken! That sounds like a call for them to miss the playoffs or lose in the first round. Don’t believe it’s in the cards for either to happen. Does that make me an eternal optimist or realist?

        • Pistol Pete

          With the recent losses this has become an increasingly tough ask but because I’m stubborn and a bit prideful I’m sticking (for now) with an objective I set some number of games following the AS break:

          Goal: 46-27-9 (101 pts)
          Need: 12-4-2

          Need for 95 pts (assumed benchmark to win a wild card berth):

          NSH: 9-8-0
          VGK: 10-8-0

          SEA: 14-4-0
          CGY: 14-4-0
          STL: 14-5-0
          MIN: 14-5-0

          Would the VGK prefer overtaking the Kings and face EDM or be a wild card and play VAN, DAL, WPG or COL?

          • Pistol Pete

            Following Saturday’s VGK’s win and the Kings’ loss we are now tied although they still have one game in hand.

  7. DeezNutz

    No surprise considering that Canada is a communist shit hole. The tax man is now coming for John Tavares for another 8 million in unpaid taxes as if he hasn’t paid enough already. Plus Montreal Canadien players actually had a curfew during covid could you imagine being a professional sports athlete making millions of dollars with a curfew forced on you by your woke virus government? California is another liberal shit hole that’s why guys like Hertl want out. It’s important for Nevada to vote and stay as conservative/capitalist as possible or else Vegas could very well turn into Shitcago. Democrats, shitlibs and pinko commie cocksuckers are destroying so many places these days and pretty soon nobody will want to play of live there.

    • Tim

      Deez Nutz, Well said they took the greatest state and turned into tent city. When I was a kid Orange County was just that Orange groves and strawberry farms. Now even Huntington Beach where I’m from has turned into a shit hole.

      • DeezNutz

        Exactly Tim that’s why Elon Musk calls it the woke mind virus because it spreads like a disease and eventually destroys everything it touches. Minnesota is also a progressive woke nightmare just ask Minny!

      • ThG

        Tim
        HB is last bastion of John Wayne country, conservatives rule the city. Yet still they are trying their best to keep out the woke broke that surrounding it.

        If you are saying the conservatives are turning it into a shit hole?

        • Ice Warrior

          Unfortunately for HB they are still in CA and subject to state law. I wouldn’t put them in shit hole status just yet, but they’re surrounded by tides of crap and it’s inevitable that it will eventually seep in.

    • TS

      Hey, Vegas players have a curfue, too–be home by daybreak, be in uniform and sober by Gametime!! ( kidding, KIDDING..
      )

  8. Bryce Alberts

    It’s pretty obvious to me that there are some current VGK players who will not be with the team next year. The trade deadline acquisitions
    and their current salaries will not fit under the new cap for 24/25 with the current player group.
    Therefore mgmnt and coach Cassidy have some addt’l motivation for the remaining games. Who wants to still be a Golden Knight next year and years after? Let’s start showing it, can’t wait to see what comes next and who will take the puck and skate with it!!

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