After all this time, Mr. Las Vegas is still the go-to showman in Las Vegas.
Wayne Newton cranked the siren at T-Mobile Arena for the fifth time (by our count), prior to Monday night’s Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Once, Newton ran the crank with the Backstreet Boys. He is the all-time VGK cranking champion.
“I have been so honored to be a small part of the Vegas Golden Knights games and have been a fan since Day 1,” Newton said in text Tuesday, a day after the Golden Knights knocked off the Florida Panthers 7-2 to take a 2-0 series lead. “The team has given so much to our Las Vegas community and we are so proud of them on and off the ice.”
At 81, Newton turned the crank with palpable zeal. He’s still energized as an Las Vegas ambassador and Strip headliner.
Last month, Newton took part in a promotional shoot at The Pearl at the Palms on behalf of the Wranglers National Finals Rodeo, with a group of Vegas performers (Penn & Teller, Terry Fator, Chippendales dancers and Cirque artists among them) under the theme, “You Never Know Who You’ll Meet in December.” He’s also extended his “Up Close and Personal” residency at Flamingo by 33 dates, through the end of the year.
Newton has also answered the call, and the siren, for the Golden Knights since the team’s inaugural 2017-18 season. He’s performed the ceremonial puck-drop, and has paraded down the Strip with the Stanley Cup during the 2018 Final.
A Vegas resident since 1958, Newton once told me, “I never thought, in all the years I’ve lived in Las Vegas, we’d see an ice hockey team take over this city.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.