Updated May 6, 2021 - 10:41 am
Brian Killingsworth can keep a secret. Some are a little tougher to keep quiet, though, and the Golden Knights’ chief marketing officer used up plenty of willpower holding in this one.
“It’s like a kid when you’ve got some quarters in your pocket and you’re just itching to spend that money,” he said.
For more than a year, Killingsworth knew thousands of gold figurines commemorating Marc-Andre Fleury’s “Superman save” were sitting in storage waiting to be distributed.
The collectibles will finally see the light of day when the Knights host the St. Louis Blues on Friday and Saturday, with all fans in attendance at T-Mobile Arena receiving the highly anticipated giveaway.
— x-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) April 26, 2021
And the timing could not have worked out better after Fleury moved into third place on the NHL’s all-time wins list Wednesday with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Minnesota Wild.
“It’s just a thank you to our fans,” Killingsworth said. “Obviously we were just as excited as all of us were here in Vegas when we saw the save, and just to celebrate the team and to honor Marc-Andre, it’s going to be a fun couple days. It’s going to be that keepsake and collectible that everybody’s going to talk about.”
The Knights previously handed out collectible pucks and bobbleheads during the preseason, but Killingsworth said the organization wanted a way to memoralize Fleury’s diving stop against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 19, 2019.
FLEURY, WHAT?? pic.twitter.com/Ur1IegBIu7
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) November 20, 2019
The figurines were ordered in December 2019 and intended to be given away in April 2020 for fan appreciation day, according to Killingsworth.
The NHL season was paused March 12, 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic before the team could promote the souvenir. They remained in storage during the offseason, even as the Knights explored the possibility of trading Fleury.
The Knights have had fans at home games since the start of March, but waited until attendance at T-Mobile Arena was at its peak to give away the figurines.
Clark County approved up to 50 percent capacity for the final three home games, and between 7,000 to 8,000 fans are expected to attend.
The games against the Blues were originally scheduled to be the final two home games of the regular season, and the decision was made to maintain the dates of the giveaway after a game against Colorado was rescheduled for Monday.
“We really wanted to have it be a giveaway that was free with your ticket for our fans, because that’s how we intended this to be is a game-day giveaway,” Killingsworth said. “We know how special that save was and how beloved Marc-Andre is in the community. The collectability factor of this giveaway is going to be sky high.”
Since the team unveiled images of the gold figurines April 26 on social media, demand among collectors has surged.
Killingsworth said the NHL prohibited giveaways for a period because of COVID protocols, and the Knights worked with the league to ensure they can be distributed safely.
The figurines will be placed on each open seat, similar to the towels that are given away during postseason games.
“We figured the best way to do that is in an orderly fashion where fans, when they arrive to the game, they can go to their seat and they can get that giveaway,” Killingsworth said. “We’ve just got this great worldwide fan base, so we’re hearing from different people all throughout the world that want to get it.”
What: Blues at Golden Knights
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: T-Mobile Arena
TV: AT&T Sports Net (Cox 313/1313, DirecTV 684, CenturyLink 760/1760, U-verse 757/1757, Dish 414/5414)
Radio: KKGK (98.9 FM, 1340 AM)
Line: Knights -150; total 5½