There may be no single aspect of the NHL that people are currently more divided about than the opening performance for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Some people love it, but others absolutely hate it. Very few seem to have an opinion in between - which makes sense, because either you enjoy fun or you’ve been hurt by someone in the past to cement your heart in stone - and it’s fairly hilarious to witness.
Seriously, though. If you didn’t watch Monday night, how can you hate this?
We start with Travis Barker of Blink 182 and Lil Jon, which is my everything:
Like seriously, come on:
From there, we go on to this:
(Remember that time they let Jeremy Roenick do this? Good times!)
Anyways, they then moved on to the actual pre-game show, which was the best Medieval Times performance I’ve ever seen.
They had a row of hot archers symbolically vanquish the other playoff teams:
Finally, more medieval times, because HELL yeah:
I’m sure some of you out there think it’s totally lame, and that’s fine. It’s over the top, it’s bizarre, and it has eff-all to do with hockey.
What makes me love it, though, is that it’s so very Vegas.
Part of what gives so many of the league’s other expansion teams such a lag in their fanbase growth is that they try to apologize for where they are and who they are. They try to sell this idea that they, too, can have emotional montages set to Imagine Dragons and Coldplay with grainy footage of grizzled vets sobbing on the ice after they win key games. They push aside what makes them who they are in favor of being just like the other NHL teams.
And don’t get me wrong, trying to fit in with the rest of the league makes sense when you think about it. No one wants to be the team that fails because they were too quirky.
Thinking back, though, Arizona had some of its best success when they wore the Kachina jerseys, designed in collaboration with a local indigenous tribe to honor the history of the valley of the sun. They’ve lost a lot of interest for other, off-ice reasons that haven’t necessarily been their fault in the last decade, but they’ve also lost that uniquely wild, wild west feel that, frankly. is still very pivotal to the city of Phoenix even today. (Hell, one of my neighbors informed us THIS WEEK that she found a coyote - the animal, not the hockey players - in her house after it slipped in through her doggie door.)
Vegas isn’t trying to be another Original Six team. Instead, they’re doing everything exactly the way you’d do something in Las Vegas - and clearly, it’s working.
A few other teams, at this point, could stand to learn something from that.
Moving on, the Golden Knights managed to pull off a 6-4 win in Game One, upending Washington in a game in which Marc-Andre Fleury scored on himself.
That’s rough, but also a testament to just how good Vegas has been. Which, to tie it all back to Colorado, is a little hilarious to see - because at this point, the Avalanche contributed absolutely nothing to the roster that we’re seeing on the ice today. [Mile High Hockey]
Speaking of players being brought in to contribute: have you considered an offer sheet this summer?
Teams almost never use them anymore, because there’s a perceived fear that general managers won’t want to work with you anymore if you try to tie their hands with one. Maybe, though, Joe Sakic should bite the bullet and toss one to Mark Stone; who knows who’s going to be left in that Ottawa front office in two years, anyway? [MHH]
Speaking of next year, Mike Haynes won’t be back for play-by-play. He reportedly announced his resignation this week, ending a run that dates back to the very beginning for the franchise. [MHH]
People are pretty bummed to see him go:
The general consensus seems to be that people want to see Marc Moser take his spot, but Altitude Sports hasn’t confirmed any direction they’re looking in one way or another.
Overseas, Gabriel Landeskog did something pretty cool when he signed and donated this game-worn jersey to Matchen Mot Cancer, a Stockholm-based charity fundraising group that holds golf tournaments and other events to raise money for cancer research and support organizations:
Stort tack till @GabeLandeskog92 som gett oss denna matchtröja att auktionera ut till förmån för cancerforskning. Auktionen äger rum 9/6 på Åkersberga GK men det går bra att redan nu börja buda via vår Facebooksida: https://t.co/M1iNAeoiCf #fuckcancer pic.twitter.com/2ZIEOXHb2m— Matchen Mot Cancer (@MatchMotCancer) May 28, 2018