Knights drop the puck on season five against the Sharks at T-Mobile Arena
By Toni Gonzales | Las Vegas, NV
In case you’ve missed it, the world is signaling the return of fall. Current clues include arrival of pumpkin spice lattes, award shows and re-emergence of football and hockey!
Yes, hockey! Can’t you just feel it? The sharp cool air of T-Mobile’s ice rink on your face, the donning of your lucky Golden Knights attire and the deep, guttural echo of “Vegas, are you readdddy?” Most in Vegas will say, “Puck yeah, I’m ready.” And most will be on Sunday with the Golden Knights returning to the ice for their first preseason game of the fifth season.
So, before puck drop, let’s do a quick recap, a highlight if you will, of what happened with the Knights during this offseason. And what to look forward to this season. Now, a bit of caution here. The following could trigger some bad feelings.
The Knights left a super sour taste in a lot of fans’ mouths when they released two of their marquee players. Ryan Reaves was traded to the New York Rangers in late July. Fortunately for us, he left behind his 7Five Brew for us to enjoy. “I am going to miss T-Mobile. I am going to miss coming out of the helmet. I think that was my favorite thing about playing at T-Mobile.” Reaves told OTS in August.
That was slightly overshadowed by the news Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury had been traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. Cue the “Bitter, party of one, your table is now available.” I along with a lot of Knights fans took up camp at the bitter table. In fact, I am feasting on my third dessert at this table. I am not alone. And honestly, if Fleury weren’t such a great guy with a beamin’ smile to boot, we would expect he would be there with us too. Recent interviews and pictures posted point to the fact that Fleury and his heart are still here in the Las Vegas desert.
In an interview given during training camp for the Blackhawks (cue the gag reflex), Fleury told one reporter about his unceremonious departure, “It was … a little different.” He’s not wrong, the Vezina Trophy winner found out on Twitter. “I thought I was going to retire there,” Fleury went on. “The owner said it in the media last season, too. I know I don’t have many years left [to play], so I thought I could end up there, living there after hockey.”
Add to that pics taken of Fleury in his new Blackhawks uniform show Vegas is still very much on his mind. Fleury’s agent Allan Walsh posted a pic of him in his new uniform. It took minutes for fans to see the Golden Knights logo under his helmet.
The Golden Knights are ready for season five. During preseason they take on the usual divisional teams, the Sharks, Avalanche, Coyotes and the Kings. Games start this Sunday at T-Mobile when they host the Sharks, game time is 7 p.m. They will open up the regular season by hosting the newest NHL team, the expanded Seattle Kraken, on October 12 here at home.
In the meantime practices are open to the public at City National Arena where fans can go and watch the team in action. And speaking of the team, fan favorites Mark Stone (Captain), William Karrlson, Alex Tuch and Max Pacioretty are returning (whew).
While no one knows what will happen over the course of the NHL season that does not stop oddsmakers from making their early picks. Currently the Knights are sitting at +850 to bring home a cup for the first time. They are behind the Tampa Bay Lightning (last season’s Stanley Cup winner) at +700 and the Avalanche at +600 according to Vegasinsider.com.
In closing my friends, today may be the day to leave the bitter table once and for all. It’s KNIGHT TIME!
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