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NHL’s New Las Vegas Franchise to Be Named Golden Knights

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NHL Announces Name of New Las Vegas Franchise

After months of wondering and waiting, the Las Vegas franchise finally has a name. The NHL announced Tuesday night that the new Las Vegas team, the 31st team in the NHL, will be called the Vegas Golden Knights.

After the league announced over five months ago that the NHL would be expanding to Las Vegas, rumors have been swirling about the name. The teams owner, Bill Foley, a graduate of the United States Military Academy and owner of the Black Knight Sports & Entertainment company, wanted to name the franchise the ‘Black Knights’, but received resistance from West Point Academy, and many worried it would be too similar to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Following the announcement, the Golden Knights hired George McPhee as general manager of the franchise. McPhee said he will most likely not name a coaching staff until sometime in the Spring, possibly waiting until the season ends to see who could hit the market. The expansion draft will be held in June, before the NHL Entry Draft and free agency. When asked about how he plans to build his team, McPhee said they would like to build a foundation for their team in the expansion draft and free agency, and expects the Entry Draft to be where they hope “hit home runs”.

The Golden Knights will play in T-Mobile Arena, which will hold 17,500 eager hockey fans come October. Since opening this spring, the arena has held multiple sporting events and shows, including two NHL preseason games for the Los Angeles Kings, facing the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche. While the next couple months are expected to be slow at T-Mobile Arena, once October comes Foley and the NHL are hoping the Arena will be packed full every night.

With their name, colors, uniform, and arena all figured out and ready to go for October, Foley and McPhee still have a lot to do before the 2016-17 season begins. While that is still 11 months away, the Golden Knights are not only trying to build a fan base, they are trying to build a franchise.