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Mitch Moss On Las Vegas' Transformation To Sports Town


Chris Smith/Desert Companion

Fans watch the Golden Knights practice.

It's still a little hard to believe, but it's true: the Vegas Golden Knights begin play for the Stanley Cup Monday against the Washington Capitals.

The Knights won two games against the Capitals during the regular season, but Mitch Moss doesn't put much stock in regular season games predicting what will happen in the postseason.

Especially in this case: the Capitals were a team that came to Las Vegas for a vacation, not to play a hockey game, he said.

The Capitals will be fierce competition, Moss said, because they have one of the best lines and one of the best players in Alex Ovechkin. In addition, by winning the Eastern Conference Championship, they've shaken off a long-held reputation.

"The Capitals have a weight taken off their shoulders because they’ve been known as chokers for many, many years," he said.

As far as the Golden Knights are concerned, many people thought their impossible season would be stopped by the Winnipeg Jets. Moss wasn't surprised that the Knights won, but rather by how much they dominated the series.

"I want to tell you that nothing amazes me anymore with this team, but the domination kind of did against Winnipeg," he said.

One of the other stories surrounding the incredible journey the Knights have been on has been their relationship with the sportsbooks. When the season started, the Knights had the longest odds of any team. Some books posted them at 500 to 1 to win the Stanley Cup.

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William Hill announced it has a seven-figure liability if the Knights win it all. Moss agreed that the books are in trouble if the Knights win, but they've done a lot 'yes-no' bets to balance their books.

"It is still going to hurt the books, but they’ve done a pretty decent job -- I think as good as possible -- at neutralizing how big the loss actually would have been," he said.

No matter what happens during the Stanley Cup Finals, the Golden Knights have become Las Vegas' team. Moss believes while the city should embrace the heroes on the ice, they should really embrace the man behind the franchise.

"This city should actually have Bill Foley Day -- and that should be on the calendar every year from here on out -- for this guy actually saying, 'Here's $500 million. I want to expand the NHL and bring it to Las Vegas specifically to this city,'" he said. "I think that guy should be recognized ahead of everybody else."


Mitch Moss, VSIN

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