The Golden Knights are doing their part to take the “C” out of hockey.
For the second straight year the Knights did not choose a captain, opting instead to designate three alternate captains for home games and three for road games. The three “A’s” against the Philadelpha Flyers on Thursday at T-Mobile Arena were Reilly Smith, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Deryk Engelland, who will be a part of a leadership group of eight or nine players that communicate directly with coach Gerard Gallant.
It’s not a standard setup, but it seems to work for the Knights.
“I think we have a lot of leaders,” forward Erik Haula said. “We just have a tight group. It’s hard to explain, but we have a lot of guys who have been through different situations so we just match well together.”
The Knights are one of six teams this season who have not designated a captain, along with the Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks. They decided to stick to the approach after seeing it work well last year with many players having a voice in how the team was run.
“I just think in this locker room everyone has an equal amount of say,” defenseman Shea Theodore said. “We feel everyone is a captain, everyone contributes. I think that’s the way it should be.”
Gallant wants to keep approach
Gallant said he doesn’t see a lot of differences between last year’s team and this year’s. And he wants to keep it that way.
“I hope they play the same game,” Gallant said. “I was really happy, we played 82 regular season games last year and there were very few nights where I came up here and said I was disappointed with our effort. That’s what I want again.”
Spanish broadcast expands
The Knights announced Thursday that every home game will be broadcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes 1460 AM.
Jesus Lopez will do play-by-play for the broadcasts, while Herbert Castro will serve as an analyst.
The team also plans to have the Spanish feed available on television through the Second Audio Program (SAP) function during select home games.
— Center Cody Eakin, who is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury, practiced in a non-contact jersey for the third straight day. “He’s getting real good though,” Gallant said. “(He’s) skating a lot.” Forward Alex Tuch, who is also on IR with a lower-body injury, did not skate for the third straight day. He and Eakin are considered week to week.
Celebrity puck drop
Singer Wayne Newton and rapper Lil Jon took part in a pregame ceremonial puck drop between Engelland and Flyers’ captain Claude Giroux.
Only in Las Vegas is the puck for the ceremonial puck drop brought to the ice by a @Cirque performer before it’s then handed off to “Mr. Las Vegas” Wayne Newton and @LilJon #VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/YWVMAfPTAX
— Las Vegas RJ Sports (@RJ_Sports) October 5, 2018