There’s been a lot of hype around the NHL’s newest team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights. As of July 18, they had allegedly passed the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers and the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins in ticket sales, and they’ve gone to salary arbitration with Nate Schmidt.
Let’s start with one of the predicted core players of the Knights Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury had a rough final season with the Penguins and often fought for his position as a starting goal tender after Matt Murray seized on an injury to Fleury in 2016. The 2016-2017 regular season was horrific for him, but his redemption came in the first and second rounds of the playoffs. It’s likely Fleury will be the starting goalie in Vegas, but how he’ll actually play is up in the air. With the pressure of being the face of a new franchise Fleury should perform just fine.
While the Knights GM George McPhee has made a few calculated moves, he hasn’t done anything huge. Fleury’s an older guy, somewhat hit or miss, and most of their prospects are still coming into their own. The front office is decently put together as well as the coaching staff (Notable mention being former Coach of the Year and current head coach of the Knights Gerard Gallant).
The focus this season for the Golden Knights should not be being the best but simply gluing together as a team and make a name for themselves. As far as their threat level, I predict it won’t be anything too serious. They may cause some short-term havoc for the Bruins and other teams, but in the long run, they simply are (and should be treated) as any other opponent.