If you think about Las Vegas, the image of casinos, desert, and big boxing matches pops up into your mind. The metropolis that lies in the middle of the Mojave Desert has little water, so you do not expect to find some ice there. Undoubtedly, it was one of the reasons why Las Vegas did not have much to do with ice hockey for a long time. There was no city team at the National Hockey League, just a few teams at the lower leagues. However, there are many ice hockey fans in Las Vegas. They were watching what is going on in the NFL, and finally the team of Vegas Golden Knights has been created, so a long-cherished dream came true. Las Vegas has its own team at NHL.
Wayne Gretzky Sparked A Boom
You can trace the history of ice hockey in Las Vegas back to the legendary Wayne Gretzky. When the Great One moved to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988, a real ice hockey boom has sprung in the southern states. Subsequently, they created numerous ice hockey franchises in the so-called Sun Belt. Finally, the team proved that ice hockey could also be a successful sport in southern countries also. In 1991, the New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings played the first outdoor game in the parking lot of the famous Caesars Palace. It was a previous game, but the enthusiasm was high. Two years later, the Las Vegas Thunder, a franchise team of a minor league, settled in the capital of gaming for the first time. They played at the International Hockey League until 1999. The Las Vegas Wranglers’ guest appearance was also not that long. They only picked up the racket from 2003 to 2015. Since 2009, the NHL Awards take place at the biggest hotels of the city and the enthusiasm for ice hockey is still growing. In 2009, there were rumors that the Phoenix Coyotes would move to the desert city, but it was not proven to be a valid fact.
A Successful Star
The time for great success came in 2014. When the constructions of the T-Mobile arena were done, an ideal stage for ice hockey was suddenly available. An interest group got Wayne Gretzky on board and tested the public interest in ticket sales. Later, Las Vegas applied for a franchise and received permission in June of 2016. In November, Las Vegas officially announced that the Vegas Golden Knights is going to be the title of the city team. The 2017/2018 season then kicked off the ice hockey adventure in the desert. The first appearance of the desert team was nothing but great success. They won six of their first seven games. At the end of the season, it was still enough for fifth place. In January of 2020, the head coach Gerard Gallant was surprisingly replaced by Peter DeBoer. In the meantime, the Vegas Golden Knights have even set up a young team, laying the foundation for the future. The first few years were great. Therefore, we can describe it as a story of persistence.