As the Golden Knights kick off new season as champs, a look back at their start (aired 2018)
This story was aired on Oct. 13, 2023 as part of State of Nevada's ICYMI Fridays.
Stanley Cup Champions, the Vegas Golden Knights, officially began their seventh hockey season with a win against the Seattle Kraken earlier this week.
And for this installment of In Case You Missed It, we went back to May 2018 to a time where excitement for the Golden Knights was high, but so was uncertainty of the team’s full potential.
At the time, the team was heading to the Western Conference Championship in Winnipeg to play and hopefully win the series of games needed to be one step closer to the Stanley Cup finals.
State of Nevada was live from City National Area, the Knights' official practice facility, and featured a plethora of guests; from Knights players, to sports analyst Mitch Moss.
WILLIAM 'WILD BILL" KARLSSON
William Karlsson, perhaps the Knights' most successful player in their 7 year history, reacted to being called a star.
"A star?" said Karlsson. "From time to time people want to take pictures. It’s nice, it’s good to see that hockey’s become a thing here, and that’s what I’m most excited about."
And when host Joe Schoenmann asked him why the team was smiling a lot during their practice, Karlsson said..
"Why not? We're in the conference final, life's pretty good. We're gonna try and keep smiling."
Little did Karlsson know that 5 years later, the Knights would have an even better reason to smile.
HOW DID SPORTS ANALYSTS REACT TO THE KNIGHTS BACK THEN?
Sports analyst and host of Vegas Sports Information Network's Follow The Money, doubted the Knights' potential at first, but he ended up admitting he was wrong.
Moss talked about the irresistible nature of the Knights' story and skill.
"It is truly one of the best sports stories that I can ever remember," said Moss. "When you think of great sports stories, generally, it'll last for a couple of days, or it might be a flash in the pan for a week, maybe a month? This has now passed the seven month mark. sports stories aren't that great for that long. Did we think after their incredible month of wins in the first season that it was going to last? No, we thought it's eventually going to catch up with them, they'll come back to the pack, there's going to be some regression. There hasn't been. They've been one of the best teams in hockey for the entire year as an expansion team. I don't even know what you could compare to it."
Moss said this in May of 2018 right before the Knights headed to the Western Conference. They didn't end up winning the Stanley Cup that year of course, but their 2023 Stanley Cup win doesn't just honor their plays for that year; it honors the years of determination and perseverance the team had since their inception in 2017 to surprise everyone and come out on top.
Guests: Dan D'Uva, broadcaster, Vegas Golden Knights; Mitch Moss, Host, Follow The Money, Vegas Sports Information Network; Mikayla Whitmore, artist and photojournalist; Jake Wagner, musician and composer, former Vegas Golden Knights DJ