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Bill Foley Releases Statement On Raiders Relocation

The Golden Knights Chairman/CEO spoke about the NFL's arrival in Las Vegas

by Vegas Golden Knights @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Vegas Golden Knights Chairman and CEO Bill Foley issued the following statement today, March 27, regarding the Oakland Raiders relocation to Las Vegas:

"On behalf of the entire Vegas Golden Knights family, I would like to welcome and congratulate Mark Davis and the Oakland Raiders on their relocation to the great city of Las Vegas," said Vegas Golden Knights Chairman and CEO Bill Foley. "It truly is an exciting time to be from Las Vegas. There is only a select group of cities in North America that are home to both an NHL and an NFL franchise and Vegas is now one of them. This alone should be a great source of pride for our community and our fans. Las Vegas has always been one of the most popular destination cities in the world and it is now emerging as a premier location for major league professional sports."

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Practice Facility Construction Hits Milestone

An ECO-CHILL system, which will allow the building to maintain ice, was installed on Wednesday

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Ice, ice, maybe?

Well, when it comes to the Golden Knights' future practice facility, there are no "maybes."

With the expectation of opening later this year, the two ice sheet, 146,000 square foot arena that's currently being built in Summerlin took a significant step in its construction process on Wednesday.

The building's massive ECO-CHILL system, which will provide the coolant that will allow ice to survive the heat of the Nevada desert, arrived via truck delivery and was installed behind the rear end of the facility.

"This is really the engine that drives the ice plants," Golden Knights senior vice president Murray Craven said. "It provides the coolant for all the piping that goes underneath both ice sheets. Along with that, it produces a lot of heat that will basically be transformed into energy for the rest of the building. 

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Golden Knights, Cirque Du Soleil Enter Partnership

Under the agreement, Cirque du Soleil becomes a strategic entertainment partner of the Vegas Golden Knights

by Vegas Golden Knights @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

VEGAS - March 23, 2017 - Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz announced today, March 23, that the team has signed a multi-year partnership with Cirque du Soleil. The partnership will run for three seasons, beginning with the team's inaugural 2017-2018 season.

"Cirque du Soleil is an iconic, worldwide entertainment brand and we are thrilled to partner with them in this capacity," said Vegas Golden Knights Vice President of Global Partnerships Michael Mungiello. "Cirque du Soleil has had a significant presence in Las Vegas since 1992 and continues to be one of the most popular entertainment options in town. We are always looking for creative ways to enhance the overall fan experience at our home games and this partnership certainly helps advance that objective."

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McPhee Channels Inner Churchill In Draft Approach

Vegas' GM sees opportunity amidst 'weaker' 2017 draft class

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Throughout his magnificent life, Winston Churchill never played hockey.

Although to be fair, one of his more famous quotes is a fantastic metaphor for the Golden Knights' situation entering the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

These are wise words from Mr. Churchill, especially relevant in a year that the entry draft class is widely considered to be weaker than those from the past few years.

High-end talents like Nolan Patrick (Center/Brandon Wheat Kings), Nico Hischier (Center/Halifax Mooseheads) and Timothy Liljegren (Defense/Rogle) at the top of the draft rankings are considered sure-fire NHL impact players.

The consensus, however, is that the level of talent available this June falls off significantly after the top-ranked players.

But channeling his inner Churchill, Golden Knights general manager George McPhee isn't concerned by conducting his team's first draft amidst these circumstances. McPhee sees "weaker" drafts as an opportunity for good teams to distinguish themselves.

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Analytics Or Old School? George McPhee Weighs In

Vegas' GM shares his thoughts on one of the most hot-button debates in hockey

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -Albert Einstein

In the ever-evolving landscape of pro hockey, this famous Einstein quote is pertinent when referring to the methods that teams use to evaluate players.

And yes, we're talking about analytics.

Analytics, hockey's only four-letter word with 10 characters, is one of the most hot-button issues in the game today.

Some believe in it, and that by using math, statistical analysis and ingenuity, one can find value in hockey players that've been devalued by traditional evaluation methods.

This is just like in the movie Moneyball, where Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill's characters struggled to win support when bringing this approach to the 2002 Oakland Athletics.

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Will McPhee Use Salary Cap Space As A Trade Chip?

In recent years, teams have been able to utilize cap space to acquire players at a discount

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Jakob Chychrun.

Yes, Jakob Chychrun.

Although the 18-year old Arizona Coyotes defenseman may be relatively unknown to many Golden Knights fans, he exemplifies a quirk in the NHL's salary cap system that Vegas is able to benefit from.

To understand the salary cap oddity that allowed the Coyotes to acquire Chychrun, and how the same anomaly could benefit the Golden Knights, we must first explain a few key terms.

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McPhee Details His Aggressive Entry Draft Philosophy

The Golden Knights' general manager recently discussed his 'swing for the fences' approach

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

It's something that separates hockey from other sports.

The Draft.

Not the widely-publicized Expansion Draft, from which the Golden Knights will select one player from each of the NHL's 30 teams this June. Rather, the Entry Draft, which will be held at Chicago's United Center on June 23 and 24, will have a more significant impact on the Golden Knights' fortunes than any other event this year.

That is, if history is any indication.

History shows that championship success is more connected to Entry Draft success in hockey than in any other sport. That rather than titles being decided by which teams offer the most money to the most established veterans, NHL success comes from the ability to pluck teenagers out of junior leagues and colleges across the world and turn them into pros.

Although this may be a small sample size, the prevalence of this pattern is readily apparent when analyzing the rosters of the past three champions in every sport.

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Golden Knights, Rank + Rally Announce Partnership

The Vegas Golden Knights have entered a multi-year partnership with premier sports retailer and brand developer Rank + Rally

by Vegas Golden Knights @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

CHICAGO and LAS VEGAS, March 21, 2017 - Vegas Golden Knights™ President Kerry Bubolz announced today, March 21, that the team has entered a multi-year partnership with premier sports retailer and brand developer Rank + Rally, making Rank + Rally the team's official retail partner. Rank + Rally will handle all merchandise operations throughout T-Mobile Arena, including the official Team Store as well as develop limited edition and exclusive inaugural apparel and products.

"Our primary goal at all of our events is to create the best fan experience possible," said Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz. "Partnering with Rank + Rally - one of the preeminent sports retailers in the business - helps us achieve this objective. Rank + Rally and their parent company Levy are industry leaders when it comes to customer service, managing retail stores, and developing exclusive, innovative apparel lines that sports fans love. We are thrilled to work with them and excited to collaborate on the design of official Golden Knights apparel that our fans will be proud to wear."

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McSorley Says Vegas Will Attract Free Agents

The retired NHL player cited the region's appeal to families as Vegas' top draw for free agents

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Happy wife, happy life.

It's kind of an old saying, but for many, it still holds quite a bit of water.

According to Marty McSorley, a retired Stanley Cup champion and one of the toughest enforcers to ever play the game, this expression sits at the center of the Vegas Golden Knights' ability to attract free agents.

Speaking with VegasGoldenKnights.com while attending Wayne Gretzky's Fantasy Camp at the Las Vegas Ice Center last week, McSorley detailed what players' value systems are when evaluating what teams to sign with.

Which when weighing what the Golden Knights could offer that could be alluring to NHL free agents, McSorley said that Vegas' ability to appeal to their significant others may be the area's most influential draw.

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Expansion Draft Primer: What's Exclusive Free Agency?

Exclusive free agent negotiation, extra time to make Expansion Draft choices possible for June

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

The last two weeks of June are shaping up to be a doozy for the Golden Knights.

June 18-20: The Golden Knights are expected to receive other teams' protected lists and be able to begin choosing players in the Expansion Draft.

June 21: All 30 of Vegas' Expansion Draft selections will be announced.

June 23-24: The Golden Knights will participate in the team's first Entry Draft.

Factoring in that NHL free agency will then begin on July 1, the early part of this summer is shaping up as one of the most consequential time periods in franchise history.

Exiting early March's general manager meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., George McPhee was able to provide some clarity on how the week prior to this onslaught is also shaping up to be significant for the Golden Knights.

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