Adam Cracknell remembers.
He remembers living in Las Vegas.
He remembers the Orleans, he remembers the 2008 Kelly Cup Playoffs, he remembers the in-game performances by the Blue Man Group.
He even remembers the smell of the Las Vegas Ice Center.
Although it's been almost 10 years since the current Dallas Stars forward played for the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers, Cracknell remembers the people.
He remembers the Wranglers' staff.
He remembers his teammates. He even regularly keeps in touch with Mike Madill and Aaron Power, he tells VegasGoldenKnights.com.
But most of all, Adam Cracknell remembers what it was like to play hockey and represent Las Vegas. And in light of the events of the past week in his former city and his playing on the opposing side in the Golden Knights' first-ever regular season game, he couldn't help but reminisce on Friday at American Airlines Center.
"We got treated very well," Cracknell said of his time with the Wranglers. "We had great support. We all lived in the same apartment complex. It's nice to see them get a team and still be in the league while I'm still playing.
"It's my roots."
Despite hailing from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Cracknell's hockey roots very much begin in Las Vegas. It's there that the former ninth-round pick - a round that doesn't even exist anymore - of the Calgary Flames blossomed during his first two full professional seasons, 2006-07 and 2007-08.
As a Wrangler, Cracknell was the driving force behind the team's miraculous run to the 2007-08 Kelly Cup Finals, where they were stunned by the Cincinnati Cyclones. His 22 points (9G, 13A) in 21 games that spring vaulted him from NHL longshot into legitimate prospect.
Advancing to the AHL the following season and arriving with the St. Louis Blues in 2010-11, Cracknell has now played parts of seven NHL seasons, and will begin an eight against the Golden Knightss as a member of the Dallas Stars on Friday.
When it came to the tragic events this past week, Cracknell said it was a reminder of where he comes from.
Not that he ever forgot, mind you.
Just that it reminded him that a large part of his heart still lies in his former city.
"I got messages from fans in Vegas already that they're going to come watch," Cracknell said. "They've followed my journey. It just shows the kind of people are in Las Vegas. They do support hockey and are good people. Hopefully I can cross paths with some of the fans there that I played with 10 and 11 years ago. They never forget. I'm looking forward to going back there."
"With this team, there should be a lot of buzz around that city. They're going to take a lot of pride playing for that city.