Hockey teams hitting the road is nothing new. Happens all the time. But for Vegas Golden Knights fans living in Montana, Utah and Idaho the team's upcoming road trip is going to be out of the ordinary.
Golden Knights ownership, players, coaches, executives and staffers are taking a planes, trains and automobiles trip through their broadcast footprint making stops in Coeur d'Alene, ID, Whitefish, MT, Bozeman, MT and Salt Lake City, UT, all locations covered through the club's regional rights holder partnership with AT&T SportsNet.
"This is exciting. We're trying to build our brand and our fan base," said head coach Gerard Gallant. "We're an expansion team and this is our first year - our fans are excited and so are we. This is a nice way to get things started. Soon we'll be worrying about winning and losing. So this is a chance for us to interact before it all gets going on the ice."
Team staffers will depart Las Vegas from City National Arena at noon on Monday, August 14.
Golden Knights Chairman and CEO Bill Foley will headline the road trip in Whitefish while head coach Gerard Gallant will join the caravan in Salt Lake City.
"Las Vegas has always been a premier travel destination and our city is now emerging as a premier sports destination as well," said Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz. "The Vegas Golden Knights Road Trip will bring the excitement of Golden Knights hockey into several communities that are easily accessible from Las Vegas and all located within our television distribution territory through our partnership with AT&T SportsNet.
"Once the season begins, our players will be very active in the Las Vegas area and participate in numerous community appearances and charitable events in our market. This is an opportunity for our players to visit other cities that we may not be able to reach during the season.
"We look forward to having hockey fans of all ages get the chance to meet some of these players, coaches and executives and enjoy our great game."
Players Jake Bischoff, Calvin Pickard, Nate Schmidt and Alex Tuch, as well as executives Murray Craven and Brian Killingsworth, are expected to make appearances and participate in a series of hockey clinics, open skates and meet-and-greets with local hockey fans of all ages.
"When I heard the news that we were doing [the road trip] it seemed like a great opportunity to go out and see people and have a chance to grow our brand as the new Golden Knights. It's an opportunity to meet some kids," said Schmidt.
"When I was growing up in Minnesota, I would have loved to have met Mike Modano at my local rink. I'm looking forward to seeing our young fans."
The first stop on the caravan will be Coeur d'Alene on Tuesday, August 15 with goaltender Calvin Pickard. The team will then make three stops in Montana, first in Whitefish on Wednesday, August 16 with Jake Bischoff and Alex Tuch, second at Rock Creek Cattle Company in Deer Lodge on Thursday, August 17 and the last stop in the Big Sky State will be in Bozeman on Friday, August 18 with Nate Schmidt. The final stop on the road trip will be in Salt Lake City on Saturday, August 19 with Head Coach Gerard Gallant Assistant Coach Mike Kelly. The full schedule can be found below.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS ROAD TRIP ITINERARY
Please note schedules and players are subject to change
Monday, August 14 (Las Vegas, NV)
- Vegas Golden Knights Road Trip bus departs Las Vegas for Idaho (Vegas Golden Knights staff will be on the bus)
Tuesday, August 15 (Coeur d'Alene, ID)
- Public skate at Frontier Ice Center (3525 W Seltice Way, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814)
- Time: 5:45-7 p.m. local
- Player: Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Calvin Pickard
- Travel to Whitefish, MT
Wednesday, August 16 (Whitefish, MT)
- Hockey clinic at Stumptown Ice Den (725 Wisconsin Ave, Whitefish, MT 59937)
- Time: 6-7:30 p.m. local
- Players: Vegas Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch and defenseman Jake Bischoff
- Executives: Vegas Golden Knights Chairman and CEO Bill Foley, Senior Vice President Murray Craven and Chief Marketing Officer Brian Killingsworth
Thursday, August 17 (Whitefish, MT And Deer Lodge, MT)
- Private tour of Rock Creek Cattle Company (closed to media, closed to public)
- Travel to Bozeman, MT
Friday, August 18 (Bozeman, MT)
- Street Hockey Clinic at Haynes Pavilion (901 N Black Ave, Bozeman, MT 59715)
- Time: 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. local
- Player: Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt
- -Travel to Salt Lake City, UT
Saturday, August 19 (Salt Lake City, UT)
- Public skate at Salt Lake City Sports Complex (645 Guardsman Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108)
- Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. local
- Coaches: Vegas Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant and Assistant Coach Mike Kelly