To the People of Las Vegas,
What a remarkable ride it has been. A season full of unforgettable moments culminating in a Western Conference title and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final.
The journey becomes even more memorable when you recall that a year ago, the actual expansion draft hadn’t even taken place yet. The players that have become so familiar and so synonymous with Golden Knights hockey – Marc-Andre Fleury, Deryk Engelland, James Neal, Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson to name a few – were still members of other teams at this time last year. It was not until their names were called during the draft on June 21 that they officially became Vegas Golden Knights.
In the immediate days, weeks and months that followed our landmark Expansion Draft, there was a genuine curiosity as to what was happening here in this ‘non-traditional’ hockey market. Quite a bit of skepticism and too many doubters to count. Despite these naysayers, we kept saying our expectation was “playoffs in three, Stanley Cup in six.” People thought we were nuts. And that wasn’t only limited to the outsiders, some of you probably thought we were nuts for declaring that too… but that’s ok, we didn’t hold it against you!
A lot of questions were being asked about us as well… will the team be any good? And let’s be honest, they were asking the same about you… will the fans be any good? So, how did we do answering those questions?
Fast forward to today, and I think together we showed the world how special of a team this is and just how special of a city this is. While we appreciate the attraction and destination that is Las Vegas Boulevard, we know there is a lot more to this city than just the glamour of the Strip. It is a city blessed with great character, vibrancy, and resolve. Together we demonstrated to the world what it means to be VEGAS STRONG.
Reflecting on the team’s on-ice performance, yes, all the regular season expansion records we achieved were great. So was the Division title. And the Conference Championship. We are proud of these accomplishments no doubt. The records will forever be remembered in the history books and the win and point totals will be challenging for any future expansion team to top. But what we are most proud of this year- and most grateful for – is that we can call Las Vegas “home.” This is more important than anything we achieved this season on the ice.
We are privileged to play in front of the best and most passionate fans in the league, in the best arena in the league. Talk to any of our players and they will tell you the same thing. Hopefully you are as proud representing the Golden Knights as the Golden Knights are representing you.
While we certainly surpassed the expectations of most, we fell just short of our ultimate goal this year. As I look forward I can assure each and every one of you that the entire Golden Knights hockey organization including myself is committed to improving next year and every year thereafter. We will never give up and never give in. The Knight always advances and never retreats.
The best is yet to come. Thank you once again for making our inaugural season so special, we are honored to be your VEGAS BORN team,