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Henderson Silver Knights Practice Facility, Lifeguard Arena, Soft Opens (Plus Construction Photos For AHL Arena)

Despite the uncertainty of the upcoming AHL season, the Henderson Silver Knights practice facility is right on track and has actually opened in a limited capacity.

Recently a fan of the site and a father of a youth hockey player in Henderson was inside the facility and shared a bunch of pictures with us. Here they are.

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Who Is Manny Viveiros; The Henderson Silver Knights’ New Head Coach

The Golden Knights, or really the Silver Knights, made history today hiring the first head coach in franchise history. That man is Manny Viveiros, a 54-year-old former NHL, AHL, and IHL player who has spent the past decade and a half working his way up the coaching ranks.

Viveiros was most recently the head coach of the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL where his team finished 41-18-4 before the season was canceled due to the pandemic. Before that, Viveiros was an assistant coach for one season under Todd McLellan with the Edmonton Oilers. He spent three seasons as the Head Coach, GM, and Director of Player Personnel of the Swift Current Broncos prior to that. In that time, his teams went 111-78-16 and he helped guide the Broncos to the Ed Chynoweth Cup (WHL Champions) in 2017-18.

Once he came back to North America and began to work in the Western Hockey League then I met him on more occasions and became much more familiar with his work. -Kelly McCrimmon

Viveiros describes his style of coaching as very similar to what the Golden Knights have been doing at the NHL level.

Through the teams I’ve had, we emulated what the Golden Knights have been doing. What’s really exciting talking to Kelly and George about the opportunity to almost copy exactly how the Golden Knights play the game and I believe that’s the way the game has to played today. It’s just the style of game I’ve always enjoyed playing. -Manny Viveiros

Through his four seasons in the WHL, Viveiros has coached many players that have been drafted to the NHL including 1st round picks Jake DeBrusk (BOS) and Ty Smith (NJD).

(My coaching style) is not a dictatorship by any means, it’s more of building relationships with these players to get their trust. After you build that relationship and get their trust you can hold them accountable. I’d never say anything to my players that I wouldn’t say to my own boys, my sons. -Manny Viveiros

The AHL announced they are pushing the start of the 2020-21 season back to December 4th. It is unclear the exact details of what the season will look like in regards to length, travel, fans, etc., but the current plan is to go ahead with the season despite the ongoing pandemic.

Whenever that does happen, the Silver Knights appear to be in good hands with Manny Viveiros.

Henderson AHL Arena Renderings

The incredibly rapid process of Henderson’s newest gem continues next week with the City Council set to approve the design of the $80 million arena coming to the Henderson Pavilion site.

The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company won the bid to design the arena and a 22 slide presentation will be presented to the City Council for approval on Tuesday.

Here are the renderings.

The building is similar in size to the Henderson Pavilion.

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Late Round Pick Success Stories Give Hope For Jack Dugan

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In 2010, the Ottawa Senators took a flier in the 6th round on an 18-year-old awkward skater from Winnipeg. The Golden Knights took a similar chance in the 5th round in 2017 on Jack Dugan, a player with close to the same build.

As a young player, I had to do a lot of things to even make it here… I wasn’t a very good skater. That was documented when I was 12 years old. Everyone told me I couldn’t skate. -Mark Stone

Going back to the 2012 NHL draft, only 106 of the 729 players selected in the 5th round or later have suited up to play in an NHL game. Only 28 have played more than 100 games.

A few have been successful in the NHL, but none have become elite like Stone. The former Wheat King, Senator, and current Golden Knight is an outlier when it comes to late draft picks. Stone has enjoyed eight seasons in the NHL, scoring 385 points, 601 takeaways, and is valued at $9.5M per year. Finding a player with that resume after the first three rounds takes incredible scouting, trust, and let’s face it, luck.

We’re still probably a year or two away from Jack Dugan even breaking into the NHL, but he’s trending in the direction of a late-round steal just like Stone.

At the time of the draft, Dugan’s scouting reports were lukewarm. Some thought he had the skill and eventual size to play a bottom-six role in the NHL.

Jack Dugan Scouting Reports:

The Hockey News
Every draft has sleepers, dark horses and late bloomers and Dugan may be a hidden gem that encompasses all three. A big, aggressive and raw talent who was passed over.

Dobber Prospects
Dugan is a late bloomer who is big, aggressive and is loaded with raw talent.

HockeyProspect.com Black Book
Isn’t a smooth skater but moves well and handles the puck at his top speed. We like his potential, has size, skill and a good hockey IQ.

Mark Stones Scouting Reports:

Hockey’s Future
Probability of success: C
The size and hands are there as is the willingness to work the boards and get to the dirty areas. The one noticeable weakness is his choppy stride which he’s working on and has spent time with the Ottawa skating coach improving his foot-speed. Smart on the ice and well-spoken off of it, Stone has the talent, intensity and work ethic to get himself to the NHL in time.

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City Of Henderson Set To Commit Up To $42 Million Towards Construction Of AHL Arena

The City of Henderson and the Vegas Golden Knights are set to take the final step in approving the construction of a 6,000-seat arena to house the AHL franchise coming to Vegas/Henderson.

At the May 19th Henderson City Council meeting, the council will be presented with an agenda item to enter into a financial agreement between the city and SK Arena LLC, a limited liability company set up by the Vegas Golden Knights to build and operate the arena.

Photo credit: City of Henderson Powerpoint Presentation for May 19th meeting

If approved, the agreement will call for each party to commit $40 million to the project plus an additional $2 million toward contingencies. That means the arena is expected to cost $80 million with the City of Henderson and the Vegas Golden Knights entering into an agreement to split the cost 50/50.

The city’s proposal includes $25 million to be taken from the $60 million bond that was approved on April 21st. The remaining money will be allocated from the Henderson redevelopment agency ($16 million) and from insurance proceeds ($1 million).

According to the proposed agreement, construction of the arena must begin no later than August 1st, 2020, and the AHL team is expected to play their home games in the arena for the 2022-23 season.

The lease calls for an annual rent of $150,000 with a 2% increase each year. The lease term is 20 years which means the rent will be around $218,000 in the final year.

All references to the Golden Knights portion of the agreement are listed as SK Arena LLC or SK Team LLC. These companies were filed by Golden Knights attorneys in November 2019 and June 2019 respectively.

As we’ve been reporting since the news broke that the AHL was coming to Henderson, the team name will be the Henderson Silver Knights. SK Arena and SK Team are just another set of clues hinting towards that name.

The construction agreement will be approved at the Henderson City Council’s May 19th meeting scheduled to begin at 10:30 am.

Henderson Blank Blanks Hiring

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Despite the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, the Golden Knights organization is moving forward with the process of hiring a plethora of positions for the AHL team coming to Vegas/Henderson.

Teamwork Online, the leading site for employment in sports, currently has five jobs listed for the “Henderson AHL Team.”

  • Coordinator, Corporate Partnerships
  • Director, Marketing and Community Relations
  • Director, Game Presentation
  • Director, Broadcasting and Communications
  • Coordinator, Content Creation

With each job posting is a section called “our culture.”

  • No ego, ‘We’ not ‘Me’ approach to everything we do
  • Positive energy
  • Relentless work ethic
  • Always advance

The positions of head and assistant athletic trainers were also listed last week but are no longer accepting applications.

Expect many more positions to open up on that page over the next few weeks and months as the team gears up to start playing in Vegas/Henderson soon.

City Of Henderson Responds To AHL Arena Detractors

Photo credit: City of Henderson Virtual Town Hall on May 6th, 2020

Like it or not, the AHL is coming to Henderson and a 6,000 seat arena will be built on the site of the existing Henderson Pavilion. Many Henderson residents have voiced their opinions over the past few months since the project was announced. Yesterday, the City of Henderson conducted a “virtual town hall” in which they attempted to respond to as many of the concerns their citizens have over the project.

The two-hour town hall, which was hosted virtually using Cisco Webex, took on concerns over traffic, infrastructure, parking, job creation, timing, building operations, and a few more topics.

The most time was spent on traffic, an issue that was of major concern when the city hosted three consecutive public meetings back in March. The city’s presented solution was initially to build a tunnel to alleviate traffic coming and going from the arena, but that idea was nixed and now they believe any traffic congestion can be solved with the installation of new “adaptive” traffic lights.

An expert spent about 20 minutes explaining the benefits of the modern traffic lights that respond to traffic patterns in real-time.

Increasing people in the area drives an increase in traffic and congestion. The real solution to that is adaptive traffic signals which control the flow of traffic. The signals detect the presence of vehicles at the stop line and approaching the intersections. This system then allows progression through that road network. -Ian Machen, CEO of Ludian (traffic signal expert)

The other topic that took up the majority of the presentation was parking. A study showed that a 6,000 seat stadium would need about 1,200 to 1,400 on-site parking spaces to accommodate all attendees and arena employees.

They indicated that not only can they fit that number of spaces in the existing area, but they can do it without the construction of a multi-level parking structure and without disturbing the nearby library or multigenerational center.

Photo credit: City of Henderson Virtual Town Hall on May 6th, 2020

We looked at the event venue itself and the area around it as to what is the availability. We generally tested out the square footage and land area and determined that depending on landscaping and the configuration of the roadways that there is the feasibility in the planning level of obtaining 1,200 to 1,400 car spaces with the border of the site.  -Ken Ackeret, Principal of Kimley Horn (parking expert)

In addition to the town hall, the city released an economic impact study conducted by Applied Analysis to show the job creation that will result from the construction of the arena.

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