Vegas Golden Knights make city ‘Vegas Proud’

I flip back this calendar and must confess, at first I didn’t take to “Vegas” as a nickname, nor Bill Foley’s reasoning that people who live here refer to the city as “Vegas.” As a 22-year Las Vegan, I didn’t see this issue as did the NHL expansion team owner.

I thought Las Vegas was the way to go, and Silver Knights as the nickname to match the state’s own moniker.

Whew, wrong there. Over time, Vegas rang true.

We suffered this event that was so unspeakably tragic that we became Vegas Strong. That’s how we were, right along with this team that was Vegas Born. All those titles fit in ways we couldn’t have imagined when the Vegas Golden Knights opened in October as the city’s first major-league team. Our team.

It all ended, finally, Thursday night. The home team’s inaugural season was finally closed out Thursday night as the Washington Capitals won Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final 4-3. The feeling in T-Mobile Arena was a mix of exhaustion, sadness, with grown-ups in Golden Knights jerseys crying and hugging. But there was also a current of gratitude, with a final roar sending the team to the locker room so the Caps could parade the Cup.

Certainly, the Vegas Golden Knights did more than reach the Stanley Cup Final, and were more than just the most successful expansion franchise ever in pro sports. Though the achievements are enough reason to celebrate this team.

But the team’s impact on the community, the way it electrified the community as a single entity, simply can’t be underestimated. I work my way around town nightly (and if you follow my social media chronicles, you understand what I’m talking about). Ever since this team took the ice, it has been the primary topic of conversation in every social event, show opening, fundraising gala, dinner party and lounge performance I have attended since last fall.

Examples abound. During the team’s second-round series against the San Jose Sharks, one friend told me, “This gives me something to talk to my neighbor about.” Another, “I have watched three Golden Knights games this year, and I really believe I can be a color commentator.”

And, when the Golden Knights were taking a break after winning the Western Conference Final over the Winnipeg Jets, a buddy told me, “My wife asked me if I’d DVR’d the game tonight. I said, ‘We’re not playing! We’ve already won the series! And she says, ‘No, no, the Lightning-Capitals game!’”

That’s serious investment in the Eastern Conference Final, which of course produced the team that finally solved the Golden Knights. And like so many fans in Vegas, this couple had never seen an NHL game in person until the team opened in October.

Figures that seemed to defy fiction are now familiar to Las Vegans. I know a lot of singers in this city, but I had never heard of Carnell “Golden Pipes” Johnson until he started performing the national anthem at T-Mobile in February. I thought, “Who is this?” A gondolier for seven years at the Canal Shoppes at true underdog personality who only sang the anthem for the game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 13 as a late fill-in. He then sang the anthem 14 times. In the face of superstars who took to Twitter to lobby for an anthem spot in the playoffs, Johnson sang before every postseason game.

In what is already a slice of Golden Knights lore, the team preferred its singing skipper to superstar Carrie Underwood. Vegas entertainers got a kick out of that decision, believe it.

We got to know them all: The Knight Line (by Drumbots, don’t forget). Chance the gila monster, whose familiar image might well-inspire costumed buskers in front of Bellagio Fountains by next season. The Golden Knight who was undefeated against opposing characters to open the game. Animated in-house emcees Big D and Mark Shunock tirelessly imploring us to “Make some noise!” A wave of celebrity siren crankers (Penn Jillette one night; Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top the next). Blue Man Group parading up the aisles as Cirque performers spun across the ice.

In what would be the team’s sendoff, the Gazillionaire from “Absinthe” summoned the juggling trio Water On Mars because that is how Vegas makes a scene.

The team was not all shtick, though. It’s deft-yet-powerful handling of Oct. 1 was note perfect. The rollout of the names of the 58 victims on the vast LED screen during the season opener was one of those moments where you had to remember to breathe. Thursday the place came apart once more for the final Vegas Strong hero of the Game, Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill.

Vegas Strong. Vegas Born. Vegas Golden Knights. We never saw it coming, we might never experience this again, but this team made this town proud. Vegas Proud.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Knights credit chemistry, strong fourth line for win over Ducks
Following their 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks, the Vegas Golden Knights players credited team chemistry and solid play from the fourth line as keys to their victory.
Gallant happy with team effort in win over the Ducks
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant says he's happy with the team's effort, especially the fourth line, after the win over the Anaheim Ducks.
Alex Tuch reacts to his new contract
Vegas Golden Knights right wing Alex Tuch reacts to his new contract with the team and explains what his goals are.
Golden Edge: VGK Practice 10-18-2018
Adam Hill, David Schoen, and Ben Gotz discuss the Golden Knights practice, Deryk Engelland's status, and Tomas Hyka's path to the team
Golden Knights Talk To Media After Thursday Practice
Golden Knights talk to media in the locker room after practice on Thursday.
Gallant Talks After Practice On Thursday
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant goes over how the lines are developing at practice.
Gerard Gallant On Win Against Sabres
Gerard Gallant talks after practice about the Golden Knights win over the Buffalo Sabres and the teams overall performance.
Cody Eakin On His Personal Improvement As A Golden Knight
Cody Eakin talks about his improvement as a Golden Knight this season and the work he put in over the summer.
Golden Edge: Knights Mood Improved After Win Against Sabres
Adam Hill, David Schoen and Ben Gotz go over how the Golden Knights are feeling after their win against the Buffalo Sabres while Alex Tuch gets a workout on the ice.
Golden Edge: Karlsson Scores First Goal; Knights Beat Sabres
Adam Hill, Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over the Golden Knights win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Golden Knights On 4-1 Win Against Buffalo
The Golden Knights react to their first win after the road trip against the Buffalo Sabres.
Golden Edge Mailbag - October 16th, 2018
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer your Golden Knights questions.
Golden Edge: Eakin Scores Winning Goal During Final Road Trip Game
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights final game of the road trip against the Philadelphia Flyers
Would the NFL be accepted abroad?
Review-Journal columnist Ed Graney takes to the streets of London, England, ahead of the Oakland Raiders facing the Seattle Seahawks to find out if the NFL is accepted, if the game is understood and what its fan base is like outside of the United States.
Golden Edge: Phil Kessel Has Hat Trick in Win Over Knights
The Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Las Vegas Golden Knights 4-2. Ben Gotz and David Schoen report from Pittsburgh.
Golden Edge: Knights Lose First Stanley Cup Rematch
The Golden Knights lose 5-2 against the Washington Capitals and fall to 1-3 on the season. David Schoen and Ben Gotz report from Washington.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — October 9, 2018
Adam Hill is joined by Ben Gotz via skype from Washington, D.C. to answer questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Gallant on Washington Capitals rematch
Golden Knights Coach Gerard Gallant plays down the connection between Wednesday's game against the Washington Capitals and the Stanley Cup Final results last season.
VGS themed games from AGS at G2E Global Gaming Expo
A Golden Knights-themed slot machine was on display Tuesday at the G2E Global Gaming Expo as AGS showed two products that came out of a 3-year contract with the Knights. A video roulette game featuring a Knights helmet and an enormous slot machine were on the floor along with Knights cheerleaders, the Drumbots and Chance, the Knights' mascot. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge: Knights Fall to Sabres 4-2
The Sabres defeat the Golden Knights 4-2 with 3 goals in the second period. Ben Gotz and David Schoen report from Buffalo.
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Wild In Shootout
Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over the Knights comeback win against the Minnesota Wild. The Knights won 2-1 in a shootout against the Minnesota Wild. (October 7, 2018)
Golden Edge: Knights Fall In Season Opener
Elaine Wilson, Adam Hill, Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over the Golden Knights 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in their season opener. (Videographer: Heidi Fang, Edited By: Nathan Asselin)
Golden Knights React To Season Opener Loss
Golden Knights react to their 5-2 loss against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Gold Carpet Before Golden Knights Season Opener
John Katsilometes is on the gold carpet before the Golden Knights season opener.
Golden Knights talk after practice
Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Pacioretty and Cody Eakin in the locker room on Wed. October 3, 2018.
Golden Edge: Last Practice Before Season Opener
Adam Hill and David Schoen at City National Arena during the Golden Knights' morning skate and media day before the opener Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Media Day: Gerard Gallant and George McPhee Presser
Head coach Gerard Gallant and GM George McPhee talk about Alex Tuch, Cody Eakin, Nate Schmidt, and the start of season number two for the franchise.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — October 2, 2018
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Vegas Golden Knights show support at blood drive
Members of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team showed up for a community blood drive on the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting, Oct. 1, 2018. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Kings 2-0
Adam Hill and David Schoen report from T-Mobile Arena after the Knights beat the Kings 2-0.
Golden Edge: Shea Theodore Returns to Practice
Adam Hill, Ben Gotz, and David Schoen are at the Golden Knight's practice where Shea Thedore is suited back up for the first time this season.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — September 25, 2018
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Golden Edge: Knights Lose 5-3, but re-sign Shea Theodore
Bryan Salmond is in studio while Ben Gotz, Adam Hill and David Schoen report from T-Mobile Arena on the Knights preseason game vs. the Colorado Avalanche.
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects after a breakout season in Sweden. He slid to the fifth round in the 2017 draft after being projected to be selected much higher. “I wasn’t happy about being a fifth-rounder. But it was good for me, too, because I didn’t have so much pressure when I came here," Elvenes said. Elvenes posted five goals and 16 points in 28 games while playing in the top league in Sweden. The Knights signed Elvenes to a three-year, entry-level contract in June.
Golden Knights rookie camp - Day 2
The Golden Knights held their second day of rookie camp at City Arena in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
William Karlsson and the Golden Knights are headed to arbitration
Of all the salary arbitration cases in the NHL this summer, none is more compelling than the one involving William Karlsson and the Golden Knights. Karlsson is seeking $6.5 million annually in arbitration. The Knights countered with an offer of $3.5 million annually. Karlsson's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Saturday in Toronto. During the hearing, the player and team present evidence. The arbitrator then has 48 hours to render a decision, and the team decides on a one- or two-year contract. Karlsson’s agent and the Knights can continue to negotiate a new contract prior to the hearing.
Entertainment
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center (Janna Karel/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like