Vegas Golden Knights - NHL's expansion team have a name

By Brandon Schlager 23 November 2016 160
Vegas Golden Knights - NHL's expansion team have a name

Las Vegas' first major professional sports team will be known as the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL.

Five months ago the American city was awarded the NHL's 31st franchise, and  a group of NHL dignitaries, including commissioner Gary Bettman and team owner Bill Foley, made the unveil Tuesday amid fanfare and some technical difficulties at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip, where the team will begin playing in 2017.

The party did not go off without a hitch.

After a performance by Cirque du Soleil, eventually Bettman took the stage to traditional boos — "Keep the boos going. It proves you're a real NHL city," he quipped — but a glitch in the video presentation created a painfully awkward delay. Foley stepped in with an impromptu countdown, and finally hockey in Las Vegas had an identity.

The primary logo and colour scheme - officially steel grey, gold, red and black - earned surprisingly positive reviews on social media after the unveil.

Foley, a West Point alumnus, did not have much creative leeway with the moniker, which was long rumoured to include some derivative of "Knights".

Trademark pushback took away his preferred choice of Black Knights, or even simply Knights, and the NHL was adamant there was to be no connotations, however harmless, to the Sin City's famed gambling culture.

"Our logo and our name is really going to exhibit the highest element of the warrior class — the knight," Foley told the crowd. "The knight protects the unprotected. The knight defends the realm. The knight never gives up, never gives in, always advances, never retreats. And that is what our team is going to be."

Now that the franchise have an identity, attention turns to assembling a mix-and-match roster of players poached from the other 30 NHL teams in June's expansion draft. 

It has been 16 years since the NHL last expanded, with new rules in place to ensure the roster is competitive immediately, so let the real work begin.

"Believe me, we won't screw up the first game like we screwed up the video," Foley said.

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Brandon Schlager