No player has ever donned number 58 on their jersey for the Vegas Golden Knights, and now no one ever will. Last night, the team held a ceremony raising the banner to the rafters. Only it wasn’t in honour of one specific player. It was in honour of the 58 victims of the Vegas shooting on October 1st, 2017. This ceremony proved once again that hockey is more than just a game.
Number 58 Retired By Vegas Golden Knights
Last night’s matchup against the San Jose Sharks has been overshadowed largely by highlights of William Karlsson‘s goal of the year candidate. In the same game, Vegas clinched the Pacific Division title in their inaugural season. However, the memorable night began before the final regular season home game was underway.
The owner, Bill Foley, and general manager, George McPhee, joined the family of Neysa Tonks, one of the victims, on the ice. Projected onto the rink were the names of those who died in the tragedy and the slogan of the season, “Vegas Strong”. Following a video tribute, a banner with said names was raised to the rafters of the T-Mobile Arena.
The Golden Knights have retired the No. 58 in honor of the 58 victims of the Oct. 1 shooting. They are hanging a banner in the rafters with 58 stars and the names of the victims. #VegasStrong #VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/8ydTJDvnCk
— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) April 1, 2018
More Than A Game
Just prior to the Golden Knight’s regular-season debut, the city was hit with a devastating attack as a gunman killed 58 people attending a concert outside. Many looked at the brand new hockey team for emotional support. The Knights surely delivered.
During a season that was dedicated to the Las Vegas community, the franchise led the charge in triumph against this horrible night that caused so much pain. They shed light and joy to people during their moments of sadness. Hockey was an escape. People were brought together. The assistance of a good team with something to fight for gave strength to fans and helped the healing. “Vegas Strong” became the label of a city that could not be defeated. The Golden Knights made sure the events that took place on October 1st would never be forgotten, but they would be overcome.
— y – Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) April 1, 2018
The First of Many
Following the official end of the 2017-2018 season, at least one other banner will be raised. A Pacific Division Champions banner will join this one. Bill Foley has already successfully established a quality franchise in a single year. A tight-knit fanbase was earned. A playoff berth was achieved. And now a division title has also been taken. But Foley isn’t done yet. He and the rest of the Golden Knights fans have their eyes set on the most sought-after banner. Adding both Western Conference Champions and ultimately a Stanley Cup Champions to T-Mobile Arena’s ceiling are well within the realm of possibilities.
With emotional inspiration, a breakout season from William Karlsson, and a goalie who’s won it all three times before (twice in the past two years) in Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas is absolutely rolling into the playoffs. Momentum and skill are on the Knights’ side and will have the Western Conference shaking in their skates.
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