The Golden Knights will have their first bobblehead giveaway Monday and it will be their mascot, not a player.
Chance the Gila monster has the honor of being the team’s first bobblehead, and all fans entering T-Mobile Arena for the 7 p.m. game with the Anaheim Ducks will receive one.
“We just wanted to have some fun with Chance,” said Brian Killingsworth, the team’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “I don’t know of any sports franchise that had a mascot as its first and only bobblehead.”
Killingsworth said there was some discussion to make the first bobblehead of a player, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury perhaps. But in the end, Fleury and his teammates lost out to Chance.
“As (general manager) George McPhee has said before, our logo is the face of our franchise,” Killingsworth said. “But we will probably do player bobbleheads next year.”
As for Chance, Killingsworth said the mascot has proved to be popular with fans of all ages, especially kids.
“We’ve sold out our Chance plush dolls,” Killingsworth said. “We told people when we introduced Chance to give it time, and he’s been accepted by everyone.”
All season, opposing players have noticed the festive atmosphere inside T-Mobile Arena. Montreal’s Max Pacioretty added his review following the Canadiens’ 6-3 loss to the Knights on Saturday.
“Best road game I’ve ever played in,” he said. “It was unbelievable. Everything was top notch. Couldn’t ask for better music, better atmosphere, better fans.
“Everyone around the league that I’ve talked to that has already played here said the same thing and I just said, ‘Oh yeah, that’s great.’ But when you experience it for yourself, that was a treat to play (in) and I wish we played them more than once a year.”
Ducks remain in hunt
After getting off to a slow start in February with three consecutive losses, Anaheim has heated up. The Ducks have won their last two and four of their last six and are in third place in the Pacific Division with 69 points, three behind second-place San Jose but 13 behind the division-leading Knights.
All-star center Rickard Rakell leads the Ducks in scoring with 22 goals and 46 points. Goaltender John Gibson is 3-1-1 in February with a 1.95 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage. However, the Knights have held the upper hand this season, standing 3-0 going into the final meeting of the season on Monday.
1. Looking for sweep. The Golden Knights won the first three meetings with Anaheim by a combined score of 12-6. “This hockey club that we’re playing tonight has taken four points away from us,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said before the Knights’ victory Dec. 27. “And I don’t think that should sit well with our group.”
2. Battered Belly. Knights forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was injured in the first period Saturday against Montreal when he fell awkwardly into the boards near center ice. Coach Gerard Gallant is expected to update his status Monday.
3. Two more records. With a victory, the Knights would pass the 1993-94 Florida Panthers (83 points) for most points by an expansion team. They’d also overtake the 1979-80 Hartford Whalers for most home victories by a team in its inaugural season (23).