Maloofs break silence at Knights’ emotional home opener

Updated October 10, 2017 - 11:49 pm

There are myriad reasons the first regular-season home game in Golden Knights history, played Tuesday at T-Mobile Arena before a sellout crowd torn between reflection and acclamation, still will be considered monumental years from now.

It was an evening wrought with emotion that showed Las Vegas could mourn one minute and exalt the next.

It was OK to cry when the names of the 58 Route 91 Harvest festival shooting victims were superimposed on the ice just inside the blue line. And it was OK to go crazy when the Knights’ Tomas Nosek lit the red lamp just 2 minutes, 31 seconds into the team’s home ice baptism.

Boy, was it ever.

It was VegasStrong. With a double hashtag.

One sensed it in the expensive seats in Section 5 behind the Knights’ bench. In Section 214 way up top behind the net in the nosebleed mezzanine. In the Goose Island Lounge, and in the standing room area in the moats flanking the Knights’ castle under the NHL team banners and the eclectic Las Vegas skyline backdrop mural.

One also sensed it in Suite 11 overlooking center ice, where the Maloof siblings were watching history being made as silent partners of Knights majority owner Bill Foley. Which must have been difficult because the Maloofs are known for being the most outgoing and boisterous of partners.

The Maloof siblings — in chronological order, brothers Joe and Gavin, sister Adrienne, brothers George and Phil, originally of Albuquerque, New Mexico, now mainly of Las Vegas — were back as principals of a major league sports team, albeit minority principals.

They weren’t the major story on this opening night. But they never planned to be, even when the circumstances were less extenuating.

Foley’s right-hand men

Like the checking line of a hockey team, the family Maloof played an important if understated role in bringing the Knights to Las Vegas. It was good to see them back, though the good people of Sacramento, California, may not share this opinion.

The Maloofs owned the NBA’s Kings from 1998 until 2013. For a time, which roughly coincided with when the Kings were winning, they were popular. Then when the Kings started losing and the Maloofs couldn’t get a deal on a new arena and mentioned the ‘R’ word — relocation — they no longer were popular.

They sold the Kings to businessman Vivek Ranadive in 2013.

Now they are minority owners of the Golden Knights, though you would hardly know it.

The Maloof siblings own 15 percent of the Knights; Bill Foley owns the other 85 percent. Neither the majority nor minority owners come from a hockey background. But when the Maloofs briefly owned the NBA’s Houston Rockets before they bought the Kings, Gary Bettman was part of the NBA’s legal team.

So the puck stopped there.

As NHL commissioner, Bettman suggested the Maloofs contact Foley when they quietly were trying to get back into major league sports and Foley not-so-quietly was trying to bring hockey to Las Vegas.

“We’re excited as a family. It’s been a long time coming,” Gavin Maloof said.

Ordinary Joes and Gavins

Dogs were barking when we spoke on the telephone Sunday, and the second-eldest Maloof brother said to hold on while he found a quiet spot. This is what endears a lot of people who don’t live in Sacramento to the brothers Maloof.

They’re rich, but there is no pretension.

With most one-percenters, one has to navigate a phalanx of assistants to set up an interview. With the Maloofs, you get a cell number and barking dogs. They seem as real and genuine as the guy next door.

Gavin Maloof spoke of the shootings and how he hoped the Knights coming to fruition at this dark hour could “give the city hope.” George Maloof said he knew two of those who had been shot, one of whom remains in intensive care.

“I think the team can be a healing factor for a lot of people in the community — especially now that we’re 2-0,” Gavin Maloof said in Suite 11 before referee Francois St. Laurent dropped the puck for the home opener after one of the smallest shooting survivors had done the same to even louder cheers.

Now the Knights are 3-0. It was 4-1 VGK late in the first period when my cellphone lit up like the red light behind the Arizona goalies.

Gavin Maloof wanted to thank a couple of reporters for stopping by. When I texted back to ask where the Knights were going to hang the championship banner, he responded almost immediately with a statement that summed things up on and off the ice,

“Well, (still) a long way to go.”

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

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
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.
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.
Golden Edge: Floor Hockey Clinic
Bryan Salmond travels to the Paradise Recreational Center for the Las Vegas Golden Knights floor hockey clinic with special guest Golden Knights defenseman and Mark Messier Leadership Award winner Deryk Engelland.
Golden Edge: Off Season Update
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond and sports columnist Ed Graney go over the Knights free angency and signing Marc-Andre Fleury.
Fleury on his three-year extension: To stay in Vegas a long time was big
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said he's glad he'll be a part of the team for a long time. Fleury spoke about signing a three-year contract extension at a news conference at the City National Arena in Las Vegas on Friday.
Las Vegas Morning Update - Thursday, July 5
Las Vegas Morning Update - Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Golden Edge: Free Agency Update
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond and Golden Knights beat writer David Schoen go over the latest free agency news from the Vegas Golden Knights.
Golden Edge: Knights Host Scrimmage
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond goes over the Knights second day of scrimmage at City National Arena.
Golden Edge: Prospects Prepare For Scrimmage
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond goes over the Knights getting ready to participate in a scrimmage for the next few days.
Golden Edge: Previous Prospects Fight For Spot
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond goes over day two of the Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Edge: One-On-One With Reid Duke
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond interviews Golden Knights prospect Reid Duke.
Las Vegas Morning Update - Wednesday, June 27
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Development Camp
Golden Edge host Bryan Salmond goes over the Golden Knights development camp and how the prospects are looking to improve their game.
Las Vegas Morning Update - Tuesday, June 26, 2018
David Perron, James Neal set to leave Golden Knights
David Perron, James Neal set to leave Golden Knights Perron and Neal were key contributors on the second line for the Knights, helping the expansion team to the Pacific Division and Western Conference championships. Perron’s agent, Allan Walsh, told the Review-Journal on Sunday that the Knights have not made a new contract offer since the season ended. Neal turned down a five-year, $25 million offer from the Knights at the trade deadline, according to the Calgary Sun.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like