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Deryk Engelland Pens Tribute To Vegas In The Players' Tribune

The longtime Vegas resident wrote about the variety of emotions surrounding this team over the past month

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

We've all seen the pictures. We've read the headlines, heard the accounts.

In the aftermath of the tragedy at the Mandalay Bay on October 1, the people of Las Vegas have been put through the gamut of emotions.



Community pride.

And more sadness.

For the Golden Knights, from the players to the management and the team staff, the franchise is made up of people from all over. From coast to coast in the United States and everywhere in between, and even overseas. Very much like the city itself, those who make up the Golden Knights are a true melting pot.

But nobody involved with the team has been part of the city longer than defenseman Deryk Engelland, who originally moved to Las Vegas in 2004 to play for the ECHL's Wranglers, and returned every season after meeting his wife here.

In a powerful entry for The Players' Tribune, Engelland wrote about how this team, and he has been impacted by everything that's happened in this city over the past month.

Video: Deryk Engelland spoke of the team's home opener


"Then at 12:30 in the morning, my wife's phone started ringing. She always has her phone on Do Not Disturb at night - except for her closest friends and family. Only those calls go through. We both popped up. I was confused, and I remember saying, "What the heck's your alarm going off for?"

"Before she even answered, she looked at the screen and said, "It's Chelsi. It's 12:30 at night. Something's wrong."

"Chelsi is one of my wife's best friends. The first thing she told my wife was, "Turn on the TV, right now." I could hear she was upset. In that moment, your mind thinks of a million different scenarios. We're getting pretty used to tragedy in this country. But nothing can prepare you for when it's your home, you know? When we turned on the TV … it didn't even make sense. We saw the Mandalay Bay. We saw the cellphone footage of people running away. We saw the wounded being carried from the scene. We saw that our city was under attack."

As Engelland continues, he goes into detail.

Not only about how this city has responded in the wake of the tragedy. But also into the finer details of his past here, and how this city became his home.

As well as how he told his wife he became a Golden Knights, and how that brought his family an extra sense of pride to represent this city in its inaugural season.


Video: VGK@DAL: Engelland on how hockey can help ease pain


"When I knew there was a possibility that the Golden Knights could pick me up in the expansion draft this summer, I was really excited. My oldest son, Cash, was about to start kindergarten, and we didn't want him to have to leave all his friends. We knew the Golden Knights were interested in me, but it was really up in the air until the last minute.

"In the week leading up to the expansion draft, Melissa was beside herself. She was pacing around the house for two straight days, asking if I had heard anything from my agent.

"It was perfect, because when my agent finally called and told me that Vegas was a done deal, Melissa was at work. So I had Cash staking out the driveway, waiting for her to come home. And when she came through the door he was standing there waiting for her.

"He said, 'Guess what, mommy?'

 "And I'm sitting in the penalty box, hands all cut up, thinking, She probably thinks I'm pretty cool. 

She said, 'What?'

"He said, 'Guess where Daddy's playing this year?'

"She said, 'Where?!'

"He said, 'Vegasssssssssssss!'

Click here to read Engelland's full entry for The Players' Tribune.

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