THE NHL expansion Las Vegas team the Golden Knights have revealed their new players, jersey and regular season debut details.
Marc-Andre Fleury took the stage at T-Mobile Arena in a brand- new Vegas Golden Knights jersey, and his new fans welcomed him to town with raucous cheers. After an up-and-down career in Pittsburgh, the three-time Stanley Cup champion goalie is among 30 NHL veterans who could get a fresh start out West after the Golden Knights grabbed him in the NHL expansion draft.
“I didn’t know that was coming,” Fleury said about his new fans’ enthusiasm.
“I was a little surprised by that. That was a warm welcome, and I’m getting excited about it.”
A year after the NHL welcomed owner Bill Foley’s 31st franchise into the league, the Golden Knights finally have the core of the team they’ll put on the desert ice this fall.
The choices included defensemen Marc Methot and Alexei Emelin, 30-goal scorer Jonathan Marchessault and veteran forwards David Perron and James Neal. Golden Knights owner Bill Foley and general manager George McPhee announced the selections during the NHL’s annual postseason awards show at T-Mobile Arena, where Vegas will begin play in the fall.
Nobody got more attention than the 32-year-old Fleury, who lost his starting job during last season’s playoff run with the back-to-back champion Penguins. He seems almost certain to be the Golden Knights’ starter with two years on his contract.
“Obviously, we’ve got great fans already, having sold out the season tickets and the reception we had tonight here,” Fleury said. “I’ll give it everything I’ve got to win some games and try to get into the community to meet people and spread the word about the Golden Knights.”
Vegas chose three goalies, 14 forwards and 13 defensemen, including Trevor van Riemsdyk and Brayden McNabb. Vegas appeared to land a particularly strong corps of blueliners through draft choices and trades, providing the foundation for the tough, young team envisioned by McPhee.
The Golden Knights will make their regular-season debut on the road in Dallas on Oct. 6 and host the Arizona Coyotes on Oct. 10 in the first home game in franchise history.
NHL teams announced their home openers Thursday with the full, 1,271-game schedule for the 2017-18 season set to be released tomorrow.
Vegas will play its first two games on the road, visiting Arizona on Oct. 7 before the second leg of an early back-to-back for coach Gerard Gallant’s club.
The Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins will raise another banner and begin their quest for a three-peat on Oct. 4 against the St. Louis Blues. The Penguins visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 5 in a matchup of the only teams to win the Cup three times in the salary-cap era.
The Western Conference-champion Nashville Predators open the season Oct. 5 at Boston. Nashville celebrates the longest playoff run in franchise history at home Oct. 10 against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The back-to-back Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals open their season at Ottawa on Oct. 5 and host the Montreal Canadiens in their home opener Oct. 7.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS TEAM
Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Calvin Pickard (Colorado Avalanche)
Jean-Francois Berube (New York Islanders)
Teemu Pulkkinen (selected from Arizona Coyotes)
William Carrier (Buffalo Sabres)
Cody Eakin (Dallas Stars)
Tomas Nosek (Detroit Red Wings)
Jonathan Marchessault (Florida Panthers)
Reilly Smith (via trade with Florida Panthers)
Connor Brickley (Carolina Hurricanes)
Chris Thorburn (Winnipeg Jets)
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (Philadelphia Flyers)
Nikita Gusev (via trade with Tampa Bay Lightning)
Mikhail Grabovski (via trade with New York Islanders)
James Neal (Nashville Predators)
Brendan Leipsic (Toronto Maple Leafs)
David Perron (St. Louis Blues)
Oscar Lindberg (New York Rangers)
Erik Haula (Minnesota Wild)
Alex Tuch (via trade with Minnesota Wild)
William Karlsson (Columbus Blue Jackets)
David Clarkson (via trade with Columbus Blue Jackets)
Luca Sbisa (Vancouver Canucks)
Jon Merrill (New Jersey Devils)
Brayden McNabb (Los Angeles Kings)
Jason Garrison (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Jake Bischoff (via trade with New York Islanders)
Deryk Engelland (Calgary Flames)
Colin Miller (Boston Bruins)
Marc Methot (Ottawa Senators)
David Schlemko (San Jose Sharks)
Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton Oilers)
Alexei Emelin (Montreal Canadiens)
Clayton Stoner (Anaheim Ducks)
Shea Theodore (via trade with Anaheim Ducks)
Trevor van Riemsdyk (Chicago Blackhawks)
Nate Schmidt (Washington Capitals)
NHL AWARD WINNERS
Hart Memorial Trophy, MVP – Connor McDavid, C, Columbus
Vezina Trophy, goaltender – Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus
James Norris Memorial Trophy, defenseman – Brent Burns, San Jose
Calder Memorial Trophy, rookie – Auston Matthews, F, Toronto
Frank J. Selke Trophy, defensive forward – Patrice Bergeron, C, Boston
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, most gentlemanly – Johnny Gaudreau, F, Calgary
Jack Adams Award, coach – John Tortorella, Columbus
King Clancy Trophy – Nick Foligno, F, Columbus
Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award – Nick Foligno, F, Columbus
NHL Foundation Player Award – Travis Hamonic, D, N.Y. Islanders
NHL General Manager of the Year Award – David Poile, Nashville
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy – Craig Anderson, G, Ottawa
Art Ross Trophy, points scoring leader – Connor McDavid, Edmonton
Maurice Richard Trophy, goal-scoring leader – Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh
William M. Jennings Trophy, goalies with fewest goals against – Braden Holtby, Washington
Ted Lindsay Award, outstanding player – Connor McDavid, Edmonton