NHL Announces 31st NHL Team — Las Vegas Golden Knights


The National Hockey League, after adding the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild for the 84th season in 2000, has finally decided to add a 31st team to the league—the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

Scheduled to play in the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip, the Vegas Golden Knights were announced on June 22, 2016 by Gary Bettman in Las Vegas after the Board of Governors voted 30-0 to add an expansion franchise in Las Vegas for the 2017-18 season on the same day.

The league will undergo an expansion draft on June 21, 2017, as Las Vegas will select one player from each of the 30 teamsthe following number of players at each position: 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders (a minimum of 20 players must be under contract for the 2017-18 season). However, each current NHL team can submit a player protection list by 5:00 P.M. The current NHL teams have two options: Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender. Eight skaters (forwards or defensemen) and one goaltender.

Bethpage High School—a place where the classic New York Hockey rivalry, Rangers vs. Islanders, flourishes—expects an interesting 2017/2018 season with the new team. “I feel like it’s a great opportunity for the league,” Islander fan Nick Marotta explains, “the big bodies of the west can use some competition and the expansion draft can provide the Knights with a chance for a great team.” The Vegas Golden Knights will be a new edition to the Pacific division, which currently consists of the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks. Some fans have a different perspective on the team, such as Ranger fan Levon Karapetyan who said, “I think the new team will be indifferent. A few wins here and there, but overall a free win for every other team.” Throughout history, new teams have struggled when first added to a league, so it will be interesting to see how the Knights perform.

Ultimately, the Vegas Golden Knights will enter the NHL for the 2017/2018 season, and will hopefully impact the league for years to come.