I’ll admit it, I was a Wranglers fan. I, along with the 5000+ rabid followers, loved all the hard work the players and management put on and off the ice. Throw in the fantastic theme nights, and I was hooked.
Though I will say that I wasn’t surprised when they closed their goal.. err..doors, I held out hope the NHL would take a chance on the big little city in the desert.
They did, and it is great not just for Las Vegas, but for the the State of Nevada.
Have you checked out the place they will call home – T-Mobile Arena? It is a palace to say the least. Nestled between the NEW YORK, NEW YORK and the MONTE CARLO, it is everything, and a tad more. No, I didn’t get to take a tour, but from what I saw, it could very well be one of the upper echelon buildings the NHL has to offer.
There are plenty of restaurants and hang-outs to get your fun on before, and after, games. It appears to have plenty of parking too.
Now to the team:
They hired NHL lifer, George McPhee as their first General Manager. McPhee has forgotten more about hockey than most of us will ever know. How good a GM is this guy? He took over a moribund Washington Capital team in 1997, leading them to their 1st Stanley Cup Final. He also won 7 Southeast Division championships and a team record 121 points in 2009-10. Vegas was on point when they gave control of the team to McPhee.
The Assistant GM is Kelly McCrimmon, who only led his WHL team to the championship this past season. McCrimmon has hockey running through his veins as well, have been in organized hockey his entire life. Also, his brother, the late Brad McCrimmon, was a great player for 6 NHL teams. So you can see the Vegas squad has experience, if not expertise behind it.
Who will play for the new Vegas team? That’ll be decided in June of 2017, when the expansion draft is expected to take place. The rules, from what I’ve read, allows existing teams to protect one goaltender, three defensemen, and seven forwards or one goalie and eight skaters.
That means you/we will seeing legitimate NHL players, not scrubs that have no business skating in the league.
I know the excitement will build over the next 9 months. Until that time, go check out the T-Mobile Arena. Might as well get familiar with the place by seeing some of the great performers that will grace the stage over the next few months.
Let the countdown begin.
Hockey is here!
LET’S GET EXCITED!
Now about that midnight game…