Golden Knights’ playoff run had all elements of a great story

Updated June 13, 2018 - 5:57 pm

So the loons from Winnipeg won’t soon be forgotten, because what says special more than tens of thousands of the nicest people you will ever meet all dressed in white and chugging beer up and down the street while cheering for their beloved hockey team?

Take away the fact their winter has a tendency to freeze the bejesus out of your every limb, and the folks from Manitoba are good eggs all around.

Fascinating best describes being among those to chronicle the playoff run of the Golden Knights, that awareness of something that holds great interest to others.

I actually feel sorry for those who will undoubtedly experience a sense of loss and desolation from the season ending, unsure of where to turn next, left with nothing but the hushed tones of sorrow while concealed under the covers of a dark room.

And that’s just some in the media.

But here’s the thing: It’s true that great stories never leave you, that you might not remember every detail or final score, every wild anecdote and bizarre Uber driver in D.C., every customs delay and bitter quote from Drew Doughty, but if it’s unpredictable and authentic and compelling and the bars remain open after deadline, memories never fade.

Well, some might depending on how late those bars remain open.

But that’s what this was for those of us who intimately followed the Knights.

A great story.

It ended with a loss to Washington in the Stanley Cup Final, the correct result given how superior the Capitals proved over the five games it took to win the franchise’s first title.

Alex Ovechkin more than deserved to skate around T-Mobile Arena holding aloft that famous trophy, and yet if you have followed social media of any form since his team clinched its championship, you realize he might never again sleep or be sober.

Ovi is making Rob Gronkowski look like an Orthodox monk.

And yet no matter the outcome, the room for Vegas never disappointed, because if you polled those in my business about which athletes are best to deal with from the four major league professional sports, hockey players would win by a landslide every time.

They would be Reagan and those from the NFL and NBA and MLB would be Mondale.

Nate Schmidt is a sportswriter’s dream. Marc-Andre Fleury is unquestionably the classiest superstar of which I have ever encountered.

Luca Sbisa is one the best quotes few know about.

Same with Cody Eakin.

Pierre-Édouard Bellemare is just a great quote. Period. Everyone with a recorder wanted Brad Hunt to play some in the postseason. You won’t find a better person.

James Neal can be salty, but is a pro’s pro.

Erik Haula is, well, just salty.

Positive press

Gerard Gallant as a head coach is a pleasant guy who does a tremendous job saying nothing, and George McPhee as general manager is usually more cautious around media than a mother of a newborn.

The first time I met McPhee, along with a Review-Journal colleague following the GM’s introductory press conference, he asked: “Which one of you is the columnist?”

So, yeah, that was really weird — and caused me to wonder whose opinion in Washington he disliked so much.

Turns out, McPhee never had to worry about how the Knights were portrayed, given how good they were. Vegas more than deserved the positive press pointed in its direction.

To that end, I understand it’s 2018 and the makeup of a press box has changed dramatically because of the immense presence of social media. You have as many unapologetic fans being credentialed nowadays as anyone.

It was no different with the Knights.

I also get that when such a story continues to grow with each passing playoff series win, as a city becomes completely and utterly engrossed with all things Knights, more and more non-sports reporters join the coverage.

Their over-the-top enthusiasm is to be expected. That part is fine.

But to see so many on the sports side of things — across all media platforms — easily and happily jump far past the line of any objectivity was just as fascinating to witness as the story itself.

It was riveting and ridiculous and absurd all at the same time.

Still, aren’t the best stories wild and improbable? Ones with a good plot and characters developed over time, names that will resonate with future generations as they learn of their impact?

This was one of those to cover.

It was different. Gripping.

But what do I know?

Hell, I picked the Kings in six.

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

Golden Knights Videos
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.
Golden Edge: Knights Lose 5-3 but Re-Sign Shea Theodore
Bryan Salmond is in studio and Ben Gotz, Adam Hill, and David Schoen report from T-Mobile arena on the Knights preseason game vs the Colorado Avalanche.
Golden Edge: Knights Rally To Win During Shootout
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Golden Knights shootout win against the San Jose Sharks.
Golden Edge: Knights Win Third Preseason Game
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond and Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen go over the Knights 7-2 win over the L.A. Kings.
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Golden Edge: Vegas Fans Show their Love at Fan Fest
Bryan Salmond is on the red carpet at the downtown Las Vegas Events Center as the 2018-2019 Golden Knights show up for Fan Fest.
Golden Edge: Knights Back From Colorado
Golden Knights reporters Adam Hill and Ben Gotz talk about Knights preseason training camp and how Max Pacioretty is fitting in with the Knights.
Golden Edge: Mailbag — September 17, 2018
Ben Gotz answers questions submitted from Golden Knights fans.
Golden Edge: Knights Win First Preseason Game
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond, David Schoen, Ben Gotz and Adam hill recap the Golden Knights first preseason game win against the Arizona Coyotes.
Golden Edge: First Practice
Adam Hill and David Schoen discuss the first day of practice for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights Presser Max Pacioretty
Max Pacioretty speaks about his first impressions coming to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Golden Edge: Mailbag
Ben Gotz answers questions submitted from Golden Knights' fans about recent roster changes.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Rookies Faceoff Against The Sharks Good
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond breaks down the 5-4 loss the Golden Knights rookies had against the San Jose Sharks.
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
Golden Edge: Deryk Engelland Rides With Kurt Busch
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond heads to city national arena and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to see Kurt Busch attempt to learn how to play hockey, and Deryk Engelland hop in a race car.
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.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like