LAS VEGAS -- The Vegas Golden Knights signed 20 rookies to a one-day contract Monday. Some of them never skated before, but they've got heart and determination to spare.
The Golden Knights hosted 20 pediatric patients from University Medical Center (UMC) at City National Arena for their second "Player for a Day" event. The kids were given customized Golden Knights sweaters with their first names on the back and received skating lessons from Golden Knights personnel.
"This is such a great day for UMC," said Danita Cohen, the center's chief experience officer. "What a dream come true for our pediatric patients to be here."
The kids signed a one-day contract with the Golden Knights, counter-signed by team president Kerry Bubolz. Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch also met them before they got their chance to suit up and take to the ice.
"I couldn't ice skate. I wouldn't even try. But with these kids, the resiliency we see with our pediatric patients, they've been through so much," Cohen said. "They'll be such an inspiration and they might give the Knights a run for their money."
The Golden Knights' first "Player for a Day" event took place in July 2018.
"We have some special kids here today," said Danielle Sergeant, Golden Knights' senior director of global partnership activation. "It warms your heart to be a small part of their life."
UMC has been the Golden Knights' primary medical partner since their inaugural season in 2017-18. Cohen said the partnership has been everything UMC could have hoped for.
"Any time you want the players to come visit, they come right out," Cohen said. "They're wonderful partners, and they're great in the community. They're the hometown team, and we're the hometown hospital, so it's great."