Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Golden Knights honor victims of Las Vegas shooting in emotional opening ceremony

Golden Knights honor victims of Las Vegas shooting in emotional opening ceremony Golden Knights honor victims of Las Vegas shooting in emotional opening ceremony
Noah Ferguson | 13 October, 2017, 13:23

Reminders of that frightful night, and its grisly aftermath, were omnipresent throughout the Vegas Golden Knights' home opener, from the massive security presence outside the venue to a touching pre-game tribute to the 58 slain and the first responders and hospital heroes who kept that terrible total from ballooning far further. He hopes to follow the Golden Knights in addition to his Maple Leafs.

Tomas Nosek, who the Vegas Golden Knights selected in the expansion draft in June, scored the first home goal in franchise history in front of an electric crowd a T-Mobile Arena. National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman will attend, as will a number of political and civic dignitaries to mark the occasion. As the names of those victims appeared upon the ice during 58 seconds of silence, it sent shivers down my spine.

The fans will be watching a first-place team on its home ice.

The Knights, like all expansion teams, weren't expected to be competitive in the first year. Neither of those teams made it to 3-0. The Knights have earned a couple of 2-1 wins, both on third period comebacks, one of which had to be settled in overtime. The players and coaches hope they can play a role in a return to normalcy. "Hopefully we're doing that".

The team did not reveal its pregame ceremony plans.

With the exception of Engelland, who has lived here since his days with the minor league Las Vegas Wranglers, all of the players have been Las Vegans for just a few weeks. There were still tickets available as of late Monday afternoon, mostly the expensive seats down by the glass. "It's going to be an incredible ceremony".

Finally, Knights defenceman Deryk Engelland took to the microphone and gave a heartfelt speech. It was the least we could do for those people that went through that. We've got a very good team coming in.

"We want to get every win we can for the city and the people that were involved". But they scrapped much of it, including a fan fest and their usual pregame ritual (which will resume for future home games), after Stephen Paddock opened fire indiscriminately on a crowd of country music fans listening to Jason Aldean perform at the Route 91 Harvest Festival Oct. 1, leaving 58 dead and almost 500 more injured.

Forward Jonathan Marchessault said: "I think we're ready".

Engelland doesn't score many of them.

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