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Happy Anniversary

One year ago the Golden Knights became Stanley Cup Champions!

Cup Handoff Lineup

Mark Stone -> Reilly Smith -> Jonathan Marchessault -> William Karlsson ->Brayden McNabb -> Shea Theodore -> William Carrier -> Alex Pietrangelo -> Alec Martinez -> Jonathan Quick -> Chandler Stephenson -> Jack Eichel ->Ivan Barbashev -> Adin Hill -> Nic Roy -> Phil Kessel -> Keegan Kolesar -> Zach Whitecloud -> Nic Hague ->Michael Amadio -> Brett Howden -> Ben Hutton -> Laurent Brossoit -> Logan Thompson -> Paul Cotter -> Teddy Blueger -> Brayden Pachal -> Bruce Cassidy -> Kelly McCrimmon -> Bill Foley -> George McPhee

Conn Smythe Voting

I’m a proud Golden Misfit. – William Karlsson.

It’s been a wild ride. Year one was a special, special year. The way we could create a winning culture right off the hop changed everything. We were knocking on the door for the last couple of years and we were able to break through. -Brayden McNabb

It was pretty surreal. I didn’t know how many seconds left to start throwing my stuff off. -Adin Hill

Look where we are right now. Our team has been unbelievable since the beginning. We’re winners. -Jonathan Marchessault

I can’t even describe the feelings in my stomach right now. It’s everything you could imagine. -Mark Stone

Everyone have a good night. I know I will! -Bruce Cassidy

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NHL’s Business Booming In VGK Era

Credit: NHL TV commercial

It’s no secret, the NHL is the least profitable, poorly marketed, and the lowest draw of all four professional sports leagues in North America. However, according to the Associated Press, business has picked up across the National Hockey League. It happens to coincide with one of the league’s freshest markets throwing one heck of a Stanley Cup championship parade in 2023.

We’ve seen an influx and a growth of female fans, diverse fans, They’re finding our product, they’re falling in love with it, they’re starting to watch more. -Kyle McMann, NHL Development to AP

Two years ago, we reported that it was estimated that 40% of Golden Knights fans are made up of women. After Vegas’ Stanley Cup championship, those numbers have most certainly increased. When you add young kids and newcomers to the sport the population of VGK’s community continues to rise. In turn, so are other NHL markets.

New fans, new franchises, and new broadcast partnerships aided the league’s latest boost in revenue and viewership. Sure, the sport may have seen a bounce back from the pandemic but let’s not forget the Golden Knights’ impact on the bottom line.

Business is booming for the NHL, which has bounced back in a major way from the pandemic. Backstopped by new media rights deals, digital dasher boards and helmet and jersey ads, and buoyed by an overlap of generational stars, ratings are up, attendance set a record and revenue is at an all-time high — an estimated $6.2 billion annually.

Trying new things, including puck and player tracking and cartoon versions of games to draw in younger fans, has set the table for this success. Decades since the experiment of the glowing puck, experts credited the league for attracting and retaining a bigger audience in a crowded sports marketplace… the league has done a good job reaching beyond traditional markets, overcoming some of the unavoidable shortcomings of being expensive to play. –Steven Whyno on APNews.com

Vegas may turn off some snobby traditionalists, but last year’s Stanley Cup Final was the second most-watched series since 2020. And in 2018, Vegas’ five game series against the Washington Capitals had the second-highest ratings since 2015. In seven seasons, hockey enthusiasts have gotten used to seeing Vegas deep into the postseason. The NHL has benefited from their competitive play.

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Defending Champions And Playoff Rematch: How Have Others Fared?

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When the Golden Knights take the ice tomorrow for Game 1 of the 2024 playoffs, they’ll do it in a pair of situations not many teams get to experience.

First, and most obviously, they’ll be the reigning champions looking to become just the third team in the last 25 years to repeat as champs.

History is mixed on the success of the defending champs in their next trip to the playoffs. Four of the last 15 champions have made it back to the Stanley Cup Final, with the Lightning and Penguins finishing the job and winning back-to-back. Tampa Bay nearly pulled it off for a third year in a row back in 2022 too, losing to Colorado in the Final. The other team to make it back was the 2009 Red Wings who fell in Game 7 when Marc-Andre Fleury made the signature save of his career.

On the flip side, six of the last 15 defending champs have lost in the first round and another didn’t even make it back to the playoffs. Colorado fell last year in the first round to an upstart Seattle team that scored the first goal on the Avs in all seven games. St. Louis stumbled in the bubble in 2020, while Washington (2019), Chicago (2016), Boston (2012), and Chicago (2011) all lost in the first round as well.

2023 – Colorado – Lost in 1st Round in 7 to SEA
2022 – Tampa – Lost in Cup Final in 6 to COL
2021 – Tampa – Won Stanley Cup in 5 vs MTL
2020 – St. Louis – Lost in 1st Round in 6 to VAN
2019 – Washington – Lost in 1st Round in 7 to CAR
2018 – Pittsburgh – Lost in 2nd Round in 6 to WSH
2017 – Pittsburgh – Won Stanley Cup in 6 vs NSH
2016 – Chicago – Lost in 1st Round in 7 to STL
2015 – Los Angeles – Missed Playoffs
2014 – Chicago – Lost in Conference Final in 7 to LAK
2013 – Los Angeles – Lost in Conference Final in 5 to CHI
2012 – Boston – Lost in 1st Round in 7 to WSH
2011 – Chicago – Lost in 1st Round in 7 to VAN
2010 – Pittsburgh – Lost in 2nd Round in 7 to MTL
2009 – Detroit – Lost in Stanley Cup Final in 7 to PIT

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Relive The Banner Ceremony

From ESPN broadcast

What a night it was at T-Mobile Arena as the Golden Knights immortalized their Stanley Cup championship by raising a beautiful banner to the rafters.

Watch the ceremony in its entirety below.

The slot machine was frickin’ cool I thought. The banner itself too, a great design. Once again they’ve done a great job here with those details of performance, art, and creativity. -Bruce Cassidy

We love living here and we love playing here. Any time you can bring up a theme to honor this city like we do. We had the Elvis wig last year and we’ll come up with something new this year to honor the city. -Mark Stone

It was an emotional moment for sure. A happy moment, especially when they started playing that song. Goosebumps and all that. (The slot machine) was very Vegas, and wouldn’t expect anything less. -William Karlsson

I haven’t seen a banner with that much detail on it before so it was really cool to see it go up. -Adin Hill

Golden Knights Receive Stanley Cup Champions Rings

The 2023 Stanley Cup champions gathered tonight for a special dinner to receive a piece of jewelry they’ll cherish for the rest of their lives.

Every Golden Knights player received his personalized Stanley Cup champion ring at a get-together at the Wynn Hotel.

Here they are in all of their wonderful glory.

Fans will have the opportunity to buy their keepsakes soon too.

One day after the VGK players receive their rings, about 50 top-tier rings will be available to the public at a cost of $75,000 each on Monday, said Eric Tosi, chief marketing officer for the Golden Knights. Fans will be able to buy several tiers of rings for a minimum price of about $1,000. –Alan Snel on LVSportsBiz.com

The Golden Knights will drop their championship banner at the home opener on Tuesday. All fans in attendance will receive a large replica banner as they exit the game.

Back-To-Back Winning Coach Highlights VGK’s Championship Net Security

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

By the time the Stanley Cup was handed over to Vegas captain Mark Stone, coaches and players league wide were scheming up ways to copy the Golden Knights championship formula. From defensive alignments, to deeper benches and undoubtedly goaltending efficiency. Some NHL teams have the right goaltender and not enough quality players. Whereas, others have the players but are unsure if they’re good enough in net.

This week Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan referenced the World Champion Golden Knights in his training camp opening press conference. It’s no surprise the two-time Cup winning coach mentioned Vegas because years back he had back-to-back Stanley Cup winning rosters. Like Vegas, the Penguins won using multiple capable goaltenders.

Vegas’ finals winning goalie Adin Hill went 11-4 in the postseason after injured starter Laurent Brossoit recorded five wins and two losses. The same smooth transition occurred with the back-to-back Stanley Cup winning Penguins. Old friend Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his second and third championship rings playing his role in a duel goalie tandem. Which clearly caught the attention of Sullivan and other coaches.

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Eichel & Draisaitl Agree Playoff Series Came Down To Depth

(Photo Credit: @_jkarsh on Instagram)

On the night of May 15th, 2023, after the Golden Knights eliminated the Edmonton Oilers in the second round of the 2023 NHL playoffs Jack Eichel and Leon Draisaitl walked into two very different locker rooms. Eichel was promptly drenched with celebratory champagne and puffed on Ashton Aged Maduro’s with his jubilant teammates. Draisaitl stepped into a locker room that was emotional, furious, and unsatisfied with how their season abruptly ended. In fact, it was in that moment Oilers captain Connor McDavid sternly stated that he and his teammates were on notice.

We’ve heard the story now from a few places, that he cleared all but the closest team staff out of the room and laid down the parameters for his franchise going forward. That the window for learning how to win was slamming shut, and the time for applying those lessons — and winning Stanley Cups — has officially begun. – Mark Spector on Sportsnet.ca

Now, both Pacific Division contenders are preparing for a new 82-game regular season with a mutual agreement on how that six-game series ended in mid-May. In Elliotte Friedman’s latest 32 Thoughts blog, Draisaitl noticed the difference of quality bench players on VGK’s side.

At the NHL/NHLPA media tour in Las Vegas, Jack Eichel said the difference between Edmonton and Vegas in that second-round series was depth. Leon Draisaitl conceded that, but added, “We couldn’t get to our top game…They didn’t make those little mistakes we made and that was the difference.” –Elliotte Friedman in 32 Thoughts

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