It's not too long ago the Vegas Golden Knights were skating in the Stanley Cup Final. And while that series didn't end the way players and fans alike had hoped, it marked the end of a most memorable inaugural campaign.
And now, less than three months since those June nights on ice, it's time to begin anew. For a new season to kick off and for fresh pursuits to begin.
Year 1 blew our minds. Now it's Year 2's turn.
Here are key dates on the calendar and some corresponding questions, thoughts and hunches.
Rookie Camp: September 6
Players report on September 6 although there is no on-ice activity. Practice starts on September 7. Prospects such as Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki, Erik Brannstrom, Zach Whitecloud, Nic Hague, Gage Quinney, Keegan Kolesar, Jake Leschyshyn, Xavier Bouchard and Maksim Zhukov will be present.
Rookie Faceoff: September 8
VGK prospects will take on rookies from the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks at City National Arena.
The four-day event will feature three games on Saturday, September 8, three games on Sunday, September 9 and three games on Tuesday, September 11. Monday, September 10 will be a practice day for teams.
2018 VEGAS ROOKIE FACEOFF PRESENTED BY NEXTGEN
Schedule is subject to change, all games will be played at City National Arena (1550 S. Pavilion Center Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89135)
Saturday, Sept. 8
Game 1 - ARI vs. SJS, 3 p.m. PT
Game 2 - LAK vs. ANA, 5 p.m. PT
Game 3 - COL vs. VGK, 7 p.m. PT
Sunday, Sept. 9
Game 1 - LAK vs. ARI, 3 p.m. PT
Game 2 - COL vs. ANA, 5 p.m. PT
Game 3 - VGK vs. SJS, 7 p.m. PT
Monday, Sept. 10
Practice day, no games.
Tuesday, Sept. 11
Game 1 - ANA vs. ARI, 11 a.m. PT
Game 2 - SJS vs. COL, 11:30 a.m. PT
Game 3 - LAK vs. VGK, 2:30 p.m. PT
Training Camp: September 13
Players report on September 13 although there is no on-ice activity. Practice starts on September 14.
There are lots of questions to be answered in camp and chief among them will be the battled at center ice. All four of last year's regulars down the middle, William Karlsson, Erik Haula, Cody Eakin and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, are back. Throw free agent signing Paul Stastny into the mix and there's not enough room at the inn.
On the blueline there will be a battle for a spot on the third pairing while Malcolm Subban, Max Lagace and Oscar Dansk will be auditioning to be Marc-Andre Fleury's understudy.
Preseason: September 16
Vegas will play seven preseason games beginning at home against Arizona on the 16th before playing three straight on the road and then closing with three at home. Head coach Gerard Gallant will be looking to get his club sharp as well as sorting out lines, pairings and special team units. New season and new opportunities.
Regular Season: October 4
The Golden Knights host the Philadelphia Flyers to kick off Year 2. A trip to the Stanley Cup Final in Year 1 has resulted in a high standard in Vegas for the Golden Knights. The Western Conference and Pacific Division are extremely competitive and good teams regularly miss the playoffs.
Getting off to a strong start was key to last season's success and while it's impossible to make the playoffs in the first month - it is easy for a team to put itself in a hole from which climbing out is difficult.
The Golden Knights play five of their first six games on the road making getting a win in Game 1 an important step forward.