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Golden Knights And City Of Las Vegas Make NHL History Yet Again

Photo from Kartane in SinBin Discord

I could use a break from the puzzling decisions the Golden Knights’ front office made last week, I’m sure the fans can as well. With that, let’s completely ignore roster management and highlight yet another accomplishment by the 31st franchise. After holding the 2024 NHL Draft at The Sphere, the Vegas Golden Knights and the City of Las Vegas have hosted every one of the NHL’s major events. It’s a rare feat as many established teams haven’t had the opportunity to complete what Vegas has in only seven full seasons.

Major NHL Events Hosted In Las Vegas

  • 2017 – NHL Expansion Draft
  • 2018 – Stanley Cup Finals
  • 2022 – NHL All-Star Game
  • 2023 – Stanley Cup Finals
  • 2024 – NHL Draft

Front offices, agents, rookies, and fans all packed Las Vegas’ most desired venue for the league’s annual entry draft. The host team Golden Knights picked Trevor Connelley at #17, while also continuing to show off our beautiful city to the hockey world. The NHL Draft makes it the league’s fourth major event Las Vegas has hosted since 2017. The Stanley Cup finals (2018, 2023), All-Star game (2022) and the NHL Draft (2024) have now all taken place in Southern Nevada. Some teams haven’t seen any of these soirées in their hometowns, let alone all of them.

Sure, the Golden Knights have a leg up on most of the other 32 NHL destinations, but the league only awarded the city with the All-Star Game and NHL Draft. The team and the players were the reason the Stanley Cup Trophy was handed out in Sin City. Just think about this, since VGK’s first season there have been six individual champions, a third of them hoisted the Stanley Cup on the Golden Knights home ice. Vegas may have been on the wrong side of one of those T-Mobile Arena celebrations, but they made up for five seasons later.

Teams To Never Host A Stanley Cup Final

  • Columbus Blue Jackets: 2000 – Present
  • Minnesota Wild: 2000 – Present
  • Seattle Kraken: 2021 – Present
  • Winnipeg Jets: 1999 – Present
  • Utah/Arizona: 1996 – Present

There are teams established before the turn of the century that have almost nothing to show for, while the Golden Knights have secured the 2023 Stanley Cup trophy and participated in four conference championships since 2018. The NHL likes to spread the wealth when it comes to exhibitions and off-ice celebrations. The league rewards franchises with major events like the All-Star game, Award Show, and the NHL Draft but it ends there for five NHL franchises. The Golden Knights created their own destiny by reaching the final four in 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2023. VGK crossed the two toughest events to host off the list in their inaugural season.

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Golden Knights Still Not Getting Award Recognition

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It took 26 days and 13 games into the 2023-24 season before the defending Stanley Cup champions suffered their first regulation loss. The Golden Knights are currently on a 33-5-6 regular season run that dates back to the All Star break last year and they went 16-6 without facing a single elimination game en route to becoming the league’s undisputed best team.

Yet, when you take a peek at early projections for individual awards, there’s not a Golden Knight in sight.

ESPN today published their first edition of “NHL Awards Watch” in which Greg Wyshynski lists the current leader and a pair of finalists for each of the seven most significant individual awards. From Hart to Selke, Vezina to Byng there’s not a single Vegas player on the board.

This doesn’t mean the Golden Knights are off the radar though. Wyshynski has Bruce Cassidy as the leader for Jack Adams and includes a quote that will be music to all VGK fans’ ears.

No Vegas hangover here. The Golden Knights are a machine. Cassidy is working the controls masterfully. ‘Vegas is absolutely dominating to start the season, and if they keep it up, I wouldn’t be surprised to see back-to-back Cups,’ one voter said. -Greg Wyshysnki on

It’s weird, but the stats back up the odd phenomenon of Vegas being the best team in the league yet without a single individual player standing out amongst his peers.

Vegas’ highest point scorer, William Karlsson ranks 10th in the NHL. The leading goal scorer, Jack Eichel, is tied for 17th. Adin Hill is 2nd in save percentage but he’s just 7th in both goals against average and goals saved above expected.

When we turn to the gambling odds at William Hill, we see much of the same. The first name to appear on the Hart Trophy (MVP) odds is Jack Eichel at 75:1, the 17th favorite to win the award. Adin Hill ranks 11th in Vezina at 28:1, and Shea Theodore is 16th at 50:1 for Norris.

Meanwhile, the Golden Knights have the best odds to win the Stanley Cup (+600) and are the runaway leaders to boast the Presidents Trophy at +300 (no one else is under +500).

What it all means is that Vegas truly is a team. They have excellent players up and down the lineup but aren’t reliant on any of them.

Golden Knights Results At NHL Awards

Should have been a Selke candidate, could have been a Hart candidate, but the Lady Byng will have to do. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

For every Golden Knight, any trophy they win tonight is not the one they really wanted. However, a little hardware for an amazing season never hurt anybody. Vegas has four finalists in four separate categories at the 2018 NHL Awards. William Karlsson is up for Lady Byng (sportsmanship), Deryk Engelland for Mark Messier Leadership Award, Gerard Gallant is a shoe-in for Jack Adams (coach of the year), and George McPhee for GM of the Year.

The other finalists for each award are as follows. (We will update each award with the winner as well as some quotes and whatever else we come across throughout the night)

Lady Byng Trophy

William Karlsson (VGK)
Aleksander Barkov (FLA)
Ryan O’Reilly (BUF)

Winner: William Karlsson

To be honest I’m more nervous, kind of scared. What if I win? I have to go up on the stage, it’s kind of scary. For sure (scarier than playing the Stanley Cup Final). Much more. At least I know what I do on the ice. Going up on the stage and potentially having to speak to a lot of people is a lot scarier. -William Karlsson

It’s very special, just looking back a year ago who would have thought I would have been sitting here nominated for an award, but to win it, it’s been a crazy year. -Karlsson

Messier Leadership Award

Deryk Engelland (VGK)
Wayne Simmonds (PHI)
Blake Wheeler (WPG)

Winner: Deryk Engelland

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Adidas/NHL Jersey Unveil June 20th At Wynn

The wait for jerseys just got one day shorter. An email to the media confirmed a special event at Intrique at the Wynn on June 20th to unveil Adidas’ versions of the NHL jerseys.

The event will put on display all 31 teams new Adidas branded jerseys. Yes, that would indeed include the Golden Knights jerseys. The event is not open to the public.

The Armory, the team store at T-Mobile Arena, is slated to open June 21st to coincide with the Expansion Draft and Awards.

While the jerseys will be shown off in two weeks, they will not be available to buy, wear, and bring home. The team is planning a pre-order process that will begin at the Expansion Draft and afterwards. They expect jerseys to be available for sale in mid-September.

That’s all we know at the moment, but expect more events to come as the Golden Knights and the NHL prepare for what will be an historic week in Vegas.

Expansion Draft Protection Lists Will Be Made Public

UPDATE (9:55 AM 3/30/17) – We’re being told that plans on the NHL Awards Show are still fluid, which will impact the Golden Knights Expansion Draft reveal.

Multiple sources indicated weeks ago that The Park Theatre would be used to house the Awards with T-Mobile Arena being the home to the Expansion Draft reveal. Now, it looks like they are considering putting both events together at T-Mobile. Nothing is confirmed on either the Awards or the Expansion reveal at this time.

If the Awards show coincides in the same building with the Expansion reveal, there will almost certainly be a ticket price to get in.


And just like that, the Expansion Draft protection list saga is over, and the good guys win.

Those lists are set to be submitted to the NHL by 2:00 P.M. PT on Saturday, June 17th. Vegas then has three days to get their 30 selections in, and they will then be revealed in a nationally televised, free to attend event at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday June 21st.

The general managers spoke out against the lists being made public, and The Creator even said he prefers they remain secret until the reveal on the 21st.

After a lot of internal discussion following the General Managers meeting, we determined it would be best to disclose those lists publicly. One of our guiding principles from the start of this process was to prioritize transparency, and certainly here, keeping the lists private would not have promoted that particular objective. –Bill Daly, NHL Deputy Commissioner to

But cooler heads prevailed and the world will get to play “armchair McPhee” and pick their 30 from the list of available players right along with the Vegas GM.

Man, June is going to be fun.

NHL Will Televise Expansion Draft Unveil

After this pesky 30 team hockey season going on right now comes to a close, the eyes of the hockey universe will all be focused on Las Vegas.

The Expansion Draft takes place from June 18th to the 20th with the unveiling of the rosters on the 21st. The NHL Awards show is expected to be the same day, and finally we’ve got some clarity on how the NHL plans on showing the world the 30 players George McPhee selected in the Expansion Draft.

In a conversation with Puck Daddy at the league general managers meetings about the upcoming NHL Awards, chief content officer Steve Mayer mentioned that the NHL will look to televise both the awards and the announcement of the expansion roster of the Vegas Golden Knights around same timeframe Las Vegas. It’s currently unclear, which television partner the NHL will use for the expansion draft. –Josh Cooper, Puck Daddy

Before you jump down anyone’s throat saying, “they should televise the draft itself!” read this, then come back and finish this article.

It is a step in the right direction that the league has confirmed it will indeed show the reveal of the picks, hopefully on NBC or at least NBCSN.

The Creator has said on multiple occasions that the Expansion Draft reveal will be at T-Mobile Arena, will be open to the public, and he wants to announce a pick once every five minutes. With the event being on TV, they’ll likely have to speed it up a bit, but it should be a memorable event no matter how it actually goes down. The Creator has even gone as far as saying he expects the building to be at max capacity, which would be amazing.

The Golden Knights are expected to unveil their jerseys at the Expansion Draft reveal as well.

As for the NHL Awards Show, we have multiple sources who have told us the preliminary plans are to hold it at The Park Theater right next door to T-Mobile Arena. Previous Awards shows have been at the Hard Rock, Wynn, and Palms, but there’s no denying now that MGM has a theatre the correct size (around 4,000), they’ll want to keep the NHL’s events all in the family.

The news of televising the reveal isn’t surprising in the least, but with the recent revelations of the league considering not making the protection lists public during the Expansion Draft, we’ve learned not to take anything for granted.

So, good job NHL on televising the reveal. For sure change your mind on the protection lists though, and also let’s try and put the reveal on TV somewhere people will actually watch it, and by that I mean not NHL Network.

Predicting Award Winners And When Vegas Wins Each Trophy

On Wednesday the NHL will host its annual awards show in which they hand out the league’s most coveted trophies to the best of the best hockey players in the world.

Of course, here in Vegas we are slightly more concerned about a certain announcement expected to come slightly prior to the Awards, but we thought we’d have some fun with it any way.

Right now every trophy, including the Stanley Cup (limited hours) are on display at in and around the lobby of the Hard Rock Hotel. In honor of the world’s coolest trophy collection gracing our fine city we are going to predict each 2015-16 winner and then tell you when you can expect each trophy to call Las Vegas home in the future.

NHL General Manager of the Year Award
2016 – Jim Rutherford
Vegas Projection – 2018

Drafting in an expansion draft seems really tough to me. You have a list of players that are sorta tainted, even though they aren’t. It’s like day old bread, yeah it’s fine but I’m going to think before buying it. The Las Vegas GM should be applauded for any roster he puts together. And if the team competes, polish the award and hand it to Vegas.

Mark Messier Leadership Award
2016 – Jonathan Tavares
Vegas Projection – 2019

I’m giving the Vegas Captain two seasons and he’ll win the Jennings award. This is an award that players work hard for, on and off the ice. Once Las Vegas’ Captain meets up with Opportunity Village, hob nobs with Monday’s Dark, and visits all other Las Vegas charities he’ll move to the front of the line. It’ll be easy for players to get involved and give back to the community because there’s no other sports figures in town doing it.

NHL Foundation Player Award (We Literally Have No Clue What This Is Actually Awarded For)
2016 – Matt Martin
Vegas Projection – 2021

This is awarded to “an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey — commitment, perseverance and teamwork — to enrich the lives of people in his community. So pretty much the last one, but somehow different. We’ll take it down in 2021. Why not.

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