Updated May 31, 2023 - 6:02 pm
A simple scroll through social media tells the story: Hockey fans generally don’t like the Golden Knights.
As the Knights prepare to face the Florida Panthers in their second Stanley Cup Final in six years, it appears that anyone who is not Vegas Born has hopped on the Panthers’ bandwagon.
But the question remains, why?
The message boards on Reddit provide some answers.
Most who have a beef with Vegas claim it stems from the expansion draft. They say “unfair” draft rules allowed the Knights to immediately create a championship team and not earn it the hard way like other NHL teams.
That immediate success was a big turnoff for fans of teams that have struggled for years. Those fans say the Knights haven’t paid their dues.
It’s also caused the Vegas Born fan base to come off as arrogant to others. They are seen as quick to tout the Knights’ success and taunt others before they have had to suffer through a bad team or season.
And although hockey is very much a business, some NHL fans are not happy with the way Vegas management has done things over the years. The Knights’ upper management comes across to fans as having no loyalty to their players.
The prevailing view is that the Knights do whatever it takes to acquire their next new shiny toy.
The Marc-Andre Fleury saga is always mentioned. It was a situation that still doesn’t sit well with Knights fans and fans of other teams.
There aren’t a lot of people who don’t like the beloved now-Minnesota Wild goalie, and most say he deserved to be treated much better after being the face of the franchise for four years.
One Reddit user said it seems as if the Knights’ front office has an, “I paid to win the Cup, not lose in the Final” mentality.
Another comment made often by other fans is their belief that the Knights are only successful during the postseason because they are able to circumvent the league’s cap restrictions.
An article published last month on Oilers Nation cited captain Mark Stone’s “magic recovery” in time for Game 1 against the Jets after spending the last three months of the season on long-term injured reserve after undergoing back surgery.
For the record, the Knights have done it all by the book.
More recently, defenseman Alex Pietrangelo has painted a target on his back and the back of his teammates with his slash against Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl in the series against the Oilers. Some say it was a dirty hockey play and not the type of things they want to see players do.
There are also the more silly reasons to root against Vegas: The Knights have ugly golden helmets. Their sweaters sparkle.
Then there is their rivalry with the San Jose Sharks.
It was born early in the Knights’ history, and now the teams troll one another on social media each season, including recent banter between the teams when the Sharks openly pulled for the Dallas Stars to “play that hawkey & BEAT VEGAS.”
— z – Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) May 30, 2023
But at the end of the day, no matter how you feel about Vegas, one thing is certain: The Golden Knights have a chance to put their names on Lord Stanley’s Cup beginning Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.