Matt Lashoff has never played for the Golden Knights.
He never played for the Wranglers, he never played for the Thunder.
He never played for Las Vegas,
But the 31-year-old free agent defenseman, a veteran of NHL games with the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs, was deeply affected by the horrific shooting that rocked this city on October 1. This led Lashoff to, from his home in St. Louis, write a song called "Stronger Together," which was dedicated to the city of Las Vegas in the wake of the tragedy.
Lashoff grew up in suburban Buffalo with a father who's a musician, who's played a variety of instruments on the side throughout his hockey career.
"It was the perfect storm of emotions with what was going on with my life," Lashoff told VegasGoldenKnights.com. "I'm kind of going through that potential transition period with whether I'm going to play hockey or not again. I have all that stuff going on. I'm living in St. Louis right now. You see all the protests that are going on. And then to see something this horrific go on, as it did in Vegas.
Then I go back to music kind of being my outlet. This was the perfect mix of emotions, sitting down with the heaviness of everything."
For Lashoff, the most impactful thing for him in the days following the shooting was the unified front that the people of Las Vegas were able to show. He touched on how in a world that's often divided by hate and division, how he was touched by the manner that Las Vegans put aside their difference to stand together as a community.
We're in this forever,
We're stronger together,
When the world's got us down,
Actually, Lashoff can explain better than we can.
"For me, the one thing that struck me is that the one thing we couldn't seem to do as a society…everybody sets aside their differences when something tragic happens," Lashoff said. "And you ask yourself, why can't we do this on a day to day basis?"
"Just the smallest things I feel can go a super long way. I was trying to get down something, a vibe in that song that could help people who might have been going for something like that."
Lashoff told us that he is going to donate a portion of the revenue his song generates to the VGK Foundation. He also hopes to sell t-shirts with the single logo on them, and donate a portion of that revenue to the VGK Foundation.
"One thing I kept going back to was, it doesn't matter if it's a marriage, a friendship, teammates, a city, politics," Lashoff said. "Nobody should be alone in hard times, difficult situations. Look at what a city like Las Vegas has been able to do when everyone has bound together, working toward a common goal of bringing happiness to everybody. That's what struck me.
"The song's available anywhere. iTunes. It'll be on Spotify. Amazon Music, also my website, MattLashoff.com and YouTube."