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Golden Knights hope to build dynasty, says owner

Success in first two seasons raises expectations

by Danny Webster / Correspondent

LAS VEGAS -- The Vegas Golden Knights have big plans for their third season and beyond.

"My goal is to be a dynasty," owner Bill Foley said Thursday. "Not just win a Stanley Cup, but multiple Stanley Cups over several years."

Before the Golden Knights played a game in the NHL, Foley's expectations were to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs by Year 3 and win the Stanley Cup by Year 6.

The timeline has been accelerated. The Golden Knights reached the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season and were one win from advancing to the Western Conference Second Round this season. 

Video: Sharks dispatch Vegas in epic seven games to advance

Next season, Vegas will have the line of Mark Stone, acquired in a trade with the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 25, Max Pacioretty and Paul Stastny together for a full season, plus newly signed forward Nikita Gusev, who led the Kontinental Hockey League in scoring with 82 points (17 goals, 65 assists) this season.

"We're not going to look in the rearview mirror," Foley said. "We're going to look out front and move forward. [General manager] George [McPhee]'s goal, and my goal, is to put a better team next year than we had this year, just as we did this year vs. last year. I felt our team, overall, was a better team this year than it was a year ago, and I think it will be a better team next year than we are right now."

The Golden Knights' season ended in a 5-4 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 of the first round Tuesday. Vegas lost the final three games after taking a 3-1 lead in the series.

 Video: VGK@SJS, Gm7: Pacioretty goes five-hole on Jones

If Vegas had advanced past the Sharks, Foley said everything was in place to make a second consecutive appearance in the Cup Final.

"Frankly, one of my biggest disappointments about what happened in San Jose is that we had a road to get back to the Stanley Cup this year," Foley said. "The way things were falling in place and the way things were working out, we really had a road to get to the Stanley Cup. I believe after the San Jose series, had we been successful, we would've been the odds-on favorite to win the Stanley Cup."

Foley said a key goal this offseason will be trying to retain assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon, whose name has surfaced in reports for general manager openings.

"We want Kelly to stay," he said. "I'm sure George has mentioned that other teams want to talk to him, and they'll have to go through George. I never want to stand in a guy's way to improve their situation. Kelly's a great guy and we're trying to make sure he's really taken care of here."

Foley's biggest off-ice objective is to turn the Golden Knights into a global brand. 

Video: VGK@SJS, Gm7: Marchessault ties it up in final minute

It started with Foley's vision of wanting the Golden Knights to be the "team of the Rockies," reaching potential fans in Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Utah. The team's popularity soon gave cause to launch the initiative VGK Worldwide, an exclusive group to reach fans around the world.

"We want to be a global franchise," Foley said. "I thought the number of visitors that come to Las Vegas, even if they can't get a ticket because we're sold out, they're going to buy gear and they'll be back in Shanghai wearing a Golden Knights hat." 

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