The Vegas Golden Knights win their first Stanley Cup

The Vegas Golden Knights win their first Stanley Cup
Connected media – Related media

There were also questions about adding a franchise in a city known for legal sports gambling, something sports leagues, including the NHL, had long avoided. Bettman said betting on hockey was not as popular as it was on football, so the threat of players losing the game was minimal.

“We don’t worry about the integrity of our game,” Bettman said.

Apparently, Bettman was supposed to invest some money in the team before he took to the ice for the first time. The Knights have seemingly overcome every obstacle thrown at them in their inaugural season. They sold more than 14,000 season tickets before the team even had a name. The team moved to T-Mobile Arena, which was already open on the Strip.

But after the team’s final preseason game, a gunman at the Mandalay Bay hotel, about a mile south of the arena, opened fire at a nearby concert, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds of others. The team’s players, who were scheduled to appear at a public rally the next day, became a galvanizing force in the city. They spread throughout the community, thanking police officers, donating blood and donating tens of thousands of dollars to help victims, their families and emergency medical workers.

Their response endeared them to the city’s stunned and grieving residents. And, amazingly, the Knights went on an epic run. Led by three-time Stanley Cup champion Marc-André Fleury in goal, the team began the season with 500-1 long-range shooting to win the Stanley Cup. Yet they compiled 109 points and a .622 winning percentage in the regular season , both league records for a team in its first season by wide margins. They ran through the first three rounds of the playoffs, beating the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets, and won the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Washington Capitals. The team lost the next four games and the series, but had made its mark like no other.

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