The National Hockey League’s (NHL) new Las Vegas-based expansion franchise will be called the Vegas Golden Knights. The “Las” has been dropped to make the name shorter, per the wishes of William “Bill” Foley, the franchise’s owner and chairman of the Board of Black Knight Financial Services.
On November 22nd, and after the video at the announcement party at Toshiba Plaza failed to play twice, the new ice hockey team’s name was finally unveiled. The Golden Knights are scheduled to begin play in the 2017-2018 NHL season, filling out their roster with an expansion draft by selecting players from the league’s other teams.
Since 2014, rumors surrounding the potential creation of an NHL franchise in Las Vegas began to circulate, and two years later the proposal finally came became a reality. In fact, it was at the NHL Awards ceremony in June of 2016 that the news of Las Vegas being awarded an NHL expansion franchise was announced. By then, Foley, who is a “lifetime hockey fan,” had secured 13,200 season-ticket deposits.
When he was asked about other name options that had been considered, Foley mentioned that Silver Knights was considered – an homage to Nevada’s status as the Silver State – but as the largest gold producer in the country, Foley opted for Golden to accentuate Knights. Although there was an ongoing rumor just a few hours before the official announcement that the team would be called Desert Knights, Golden Knights was definitely Foley’s first choice. The three names that had been registered in August were simply alternatives used to conceal the true choice until the recent unveiling.
The first logo for the Desert Knights was a basic knight figure clad in shining armor, but the final version was transformed into a golden and black seal with a helmet, with a “V” that stands for Vegas in the middle. The color scheme was explained in the team’s website, with steel grey standing for strength, gold for the aforementioned gold production in Nevada, red for the Red Rock canyons and black for power. Both the logo and name of the team have generated a lot of debate online, but overall, most hockey fans have expressed approval for the new duds.
More than 5,000 fans attended the long-awaited announcement ceremony. Since the expansion was announced this summer, a great deal of expectation has been building around the team and many celebrities have publicly confessed their support for it. The cast of stars lining up to support expansion efforts included poker pro Daniel Negreanu, who had been actively campaigning for a Las Vegas franchise and celebrated the desert’s hockey dream finally came true via social media.
It should be noted that the NHL is the first major professional league to place a team in Las Vegas. The team’s home will be the recently opened T-Mobile Arena on the famed Las Vegas Strip, and as General Manager George McPhee explained, through the expansion draft it will select one player from each of the existing 30 NHL teams. We’ll have to wait and see what comes out of this, but for the time being, we can say we’re excited to see how the new face of the NHL performs – both on and off the ice.