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Background and Institution

The NHL has had a presence in Las Vegas since 1991; this calendar year, the town hosted the first outdoor game between two NHL teams — a preseason exhibition between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers out Caesars Palace. The Kings would then arrange”Frozen Fury” — a collection of annual preseason matches in Las Vegas from the Colorado Avalanche. The NHL awards ceremonies are held in Las Vegas since 2009. [6] In 2009, the media speculated about a strategy between Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Nevada. [7]
Rumors of a Las Vegas expansion group surfaced again in August 2014, pointing to a new indoor stadium on the Strip (built as a joint venture between Anschutz Entertainment Group, owners of the Los Angeles Kings, along with MGM Resorts International) as the potential home arena, even though these rumors were denied by the league. [8][9][10] In November 2014, an unconfirmed report stated that the league had selected billionaire businessman Bill Foley and the Maloof family (former owners of the National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings, and founders of the Palms Casino Resort) to lead the ownership group for a vegas expansion team. [11][12] In December 2014, the NHL’s board of governors decided to permit Foley to hold a season ticket drive to gauge interest in a Las Vegas group, although league commissioner Gary Bettman also warned the media to”[not] create more out of this than it is”. [13][14] The season ticket drive started in February 2015, together with interested parties putting ten percent deposits to its 2016–17 season. [15] The drive brought 5,000 residue in its very first day and a half, also attained its goal of 10,000 deposits by April 2015. [15][16]
In June 2015, the league opened the window to get prospective owners to bid on expansion teams. By this stage, Foley had secured over 13,200 season-ticket deposits. Two growth applications were submitted: Foley’s program for a Las Vegas team, and a bid from Quebecor to revive the Quebec Nordiques in a new stadium in Quebec City. Both Las Vegas and Quebec were invited to move into Phase II of the league expansion bidding in August 2015,[17] and subsequently advanced to Phase III.
In the league owners’ meeting on June 22, 2016, at Las Vegas, the Las Vegas expansion bidding was accepted with a unanimous vote, with play to begin at the 2017–18 NHL season. [18] The group became the first major professional sports franchise to be established in Las Vegas, and the very first NHL expansion team since 2000. [19] Foley committed to cover the league’s $500 million expansion fee[20] and started the process of hiring the team’s principal staff and ascertaining its own official identity. Foley announced that former Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee would be the franchise’s first general manager. [21] On November 22, 2016, the name was revealed as the Vegas Golden Knights.
Start of operations: 2017–current About March 1, 2017 (coinciding with the league’s trade deadline), the team completed its growth fee payments and filings, making it eligible to formally start operations like free agent acquisition, and participation in league meetings. [22] Five days later, the Golden Knights made their first employees move by signing Reid Duke into a three-year entry contract. [23][24]
Gerard Gallant training the Golden Knights throughout their inaugural 2017–18 year old. Gallant was called the head coach in April 2017.
The team announced inaugural head coach Gerard Gallant on April 13, 2017. [25] Over the next two weeks, the Golden Knights developed their plantation system, announcing affiliations with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League and the Quad City Mallards of the ECHL. [26][27]
The group engaged in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft on June 21, 2017, choosing an available player from all 30 teams in the NHL. The draft picks were announced at T-Mobile Arena through the NHL Awards ceremony. Some notable selections contained goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in the Pittsburgh Penguins and winger James Neal from the Nashville Predators. In the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Cody Glass was the first player chosen by the Golden Knights. The Golden Knights played their first match on October 6 against the Dallas Stars with Neal scoring the franchise’s first two goals en route to their first success. [28]
The group’s inaugural home game was played on October 10, 2017, hosting the Arizona Coyotes as the second game of a home-and-home series. In the aftermath of the October 1 mass shooting, the pre-game ceremonies honored the victims of the attack, along with the group issued an appeal for donations to its charitable arm. [29] With their 5–2 triumph, the Golden Knights increased their unbeaten streak to start the year to 3–0, an NHL record for an expansion team. [30][31][32] The Golden Knights would be the first team in NHL history to have started their inaugural season winning eight of their first nine games. Throughout their inaugural game, goaltender Oscar Dansk was injured getting the next Golden Knights’ goaltender to be injured during the season after dropping starters Fleury along with the newly obtained Malcolm Subban, forcing the group to begin a fourth goaltender in 11 games with Maxime Lagace. [33] Fifteen games into this season, Vadim Shipachyov became the first player to retire in the NHL as a Golden Knight when he decided to go back to the Kontinental Hockey League. Back in December, the Golden Knights put another NHL expansion team record of six straight wins, a record they’d previously missed once they dropped their tenth match of the year, and established a new NHL record with eight consecutive wins. [34][35][36] On February 1, 2018, the Golden Knights set the growth team record for wins in a debut season with 34 wins after just 50 matches,[37] and later on February 21, 2018, set a record for most points by an expansion team in the inaugural season with 84. [38] Clinching a berth for the 2018 playoffs on March 26, the Golden Knights became the first team since the Edmonton Oilers and Hartford Whalers from the 1979–80 season to make the playoffs in their inaugural season in the league. [39] On March 31, the Knights clinched the Pacific Division title, becoming the first true expansion group in the four main sports to win its division in its inaugural year (not counting all-expansion divisions, as was the situation in the 1967–68 season). [40] They had headed the Pacific since December 23, 2017.
On April 11, the franchise won its first playoff game at a 1–0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at the first match of the set. Six days later on April 17, the franchise earned their first playoff series win against the Kings, winning the fourth game with a 1–0 score, which also became their first playoff series sweep. The Knights became the first team in NHL history to sweep their first playoff series in their first season. [41] On May 6, 2018, the Golden Knights defeated the San Jose Sharks four-games-to-two, getting the third team in NHL history to win multiple playoff series in their first season, also advanced to the Western Conference Finals. [42] On May 20, Vegas conquered the Winnipeg Jets to win the Western Conference Finals in five games, getting the third NHL team to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals in its inaugural season, after the Toronto Arenas in 1918 along with the St. Louis Blues in 1968. [43] The Golden Knights would lose the Stanley Cup Finals to the Washington Capitals in five games. [44]
In the 2018–19 season, the Golden Knights returned to the playoffs since the next seed of the Pacific Division. They had been defeated at the First Round in seven games by the San Jose Sharks, whom the Golden Knights defeated in the Second Round of their prior season. [45]
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