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Golden Knights Honor October 1 Victims In Pregame Ceremony At Home Finale

The Golden Knights raised a banner in honor of the 58 victims of the October 1 tragedy

by Gary Lawless @goldenknights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Here we are, don't turn away now,
We are the warriors that built this town
Here we are, don't turn away now
We are the warriors that built this town
From dust.

- Imagine Dragons

Bill Foley may raise other banners in the name of his hockey team. He'll never raise one with more authenticity, meaning and connection to the city of Las Vegas.

Foley's Vegas Golden Knights concluded the home schedule of their inaugural season Saturday night and prior to the game memorialized the 58 lives taken in the 1 October tragedy. 58 stars and 58 names to forever hang in the rafters of T-Moblie Arena.

Foley, GM George McPhee and defenseman Deryk Engelland stood alongside the family of victim Neysa Tonks to represent the families of all 58 who were killed. The family stood arm in arm supporting one another while the 18,000 plus in the stands rained love down upon them. They were Tonks Strong. They were Vegas Strong.

This season has been about both hockey and community.

It's been witness to the Golden Knights winning more games than any other first year franchise in NHL history. It's also afforded a city the opportunity to come together; to grieve, heal and move forward with the hockey team and its games as a conduit. For a hockey rink to become a temple where people came to forget their hurt and find joy again.

The Golden Knights dedicated this season to the people of Las Vegas. And the community took the pledge to heart. So, did the players.

"Obviously, a lot of the people you meet say we've done some amazing things for this city as the season has gone on. That's just hockey aside. Put away anything we did on the ice. I thought our guys did a great job this year in getting out in the community and weaving ourselves into the fabric of this community and being a part of it from day one, even before things happened," said Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt, prior to the game. "But we're hoping we can give them a little bit more here as the year goes on. And yeah, over the course of the year there were times you look back at that moment and it just reminds you of the things we have been through as a group, as a city and as a team."

The hockey moments were not small this season. They were, in fact, massive. They have also been dwarfed by the coming together of a city.

"It just really shows the community how dedicated we are and how involved the team is in the community," said Foley, when asked about his team and its role in Vegas Strong. "The 58 stars are going to be there forever. You can see there were people crying in the stands, a few tears in my eyes as that banner got raised.

"It makes me feel great that our team is involved and is helping out in any way it can. It really does. Because our fans are so dedicated to this team, they're so into this team. And we want to give back to them. That was our goal, to make hockey in the desert a reality and it is. We've been fortunate that our team has been playing great. The guys have been playing well together but the fans have been behind us the whole way."

By night's end, or more fittingly, Knights' end - the Golden Knights were in position to raise another banner - this one for the Pacific Division.

And in the sometimes brash manner which Vegas has come to love, Foley made clear his desire for more.  

"We want them all. The Pacific, the Western Conference and the Stanley Cup," he smiled.

Foley is already a champion. A champion for hockey in the desert and for the people of Vegas. So, what if he wants to give them more? And really, after what his organization has already accomplished - who are we to doubt him.

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