Viva Las Vegas: Golden Knights, Fans Help Heal A City
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 10: The Vegas Golden Knights and the Arizona Coyotes stand at attention during the national anthem prior to the Golden Knights' inaugural regular-season home opener at T-Mobile Arena on October 10, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights honored first responders and victims of last week's mass shooting at the game. On October 1, Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured more than 450 after he opened fire on a large crowd at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in U.S. history. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The home opener for the Las Vegas Golden Knights was about way more than hockey. It was about bringing a city together.

The tragic loss of innocent lives could have ruined the home opener that the Las Vegas Golden Knights had been planning for more than two years. Instead, the Knights brought the city together, showing just what “Vegas Strong” means.

Oct. 10, 2017, was not just a home opener. It was a thank you to all the first responders and a memorial for the victims of the mass tragedy that occurred a weak earlier.

The city had been in a state of shock over the shootings that occurred at a concert last week. The Golden Knights and Arizona Coyotes intended to allow the fans to get some time away from the tragedy and have some fun. The opening ceremonies were something Las Vegas and the NHL will never forget.

The rink looked a little unusual because there were no advertisements on the boards at T-Mobile Arena. The team’s advertising partners agreed that Vegas itself would be the sole sponsor for this game. The words “Vegas Strong” all that could be seen on the boards.

Each Knight was introduced along with a first responder, and the pair walked/skated down the blue line. As the introductions concluded, the Arizona Coyotes skated onto the rink and lined up behind the Knights, all standing at the same blue line.

The PA announcer then called for a 58-second moment of silence—one second for each of the 58 people who lost their lives. The house lights went dark and illuminated on the ice were the words Vegas Strong along with the names of the victims. It was a heartbreaking moment to witness.

Vegas would go on to beat the Coyotes, 5-2, but on this night everyone won. In a tough situation, the team found a way to make a city smile and try to find some normalcy in an abnormal situation.

As the game concluded, the Knights and Coyotes saluted the fans in attendance. It was a great gesture by Arizona and one that was noticed by the home team.


A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at