Before the puck dropped on what was supposed to be a glorious occasion, the Las Vegas Golden Knights first ever home opener, the team payed their respects to the first responders and the victims of the 1October shootings.
While last night’s first ever home opener was supposed to be cause for a celebration decades in the making, a somber feeling hung heavy over the T-Mobile Arena Tuesday night. Before taking the ice for the first time ever in their shiny new state of the art arena, the Las Vegas Golden Knights took time out of the festivities to pay their respects to the town that literally birthed them.
Before any of the players took to the ice, the team played a visually stunning tribute to Las Vegas which included first responders and members of the hospitality industry reinforcing the team’s commitment to the Vegas valley and the #VegasStrong message.
Immediately after, it was time for player introductions with each member of the squad and the team’s management being escorted on to the ice by a first responder from the 1October shootings. They were joined on the ice by County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, team owner Bill Foley as well as survivors from the shootings.
Once Las Vegas was introduced to their new hockey team and the ceremonial first puck dropped, 58 seconds of silence was observed in honor of those who lost their lives… their names displayed on the ice for all to see in their memory.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department honor guard was on hand to display the colors as members of the Route 91 Harvest Festival Team led the crowd in an emotional rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
To wrap up the ceremony, Golden Knights alternate captain Deryk Engelland spoke to the crowd on behalf of the team saying “Like all of you, I am proud to call Las Vegas home. I met my wife here, my kids were born here, and I know how special this city is. To all the brave first responders who have worked timelessly and courageously, we thank you. To the families and the friends of the victims, know that we will do everything we can to help you and our city heal. We are Vegas Strong.”
The Golden Knights went on to defeat the Arizona Coyotes 5-2.