Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Golden Knights honor victims of Las Vegas shooting in emotional opening ceremony

Golden Knights honor victims of Las Vegas shooting in emotional opening ceremony

The Golden Knights decided in advance of the game to strip their dasher boards from all advertisements out of respect for the victims, replacing them with "Vegas Strong". Instead, the all-white boards simply displayed the message "Vegas Strong".

The Golden Knights welcomed first responders on the ice during a 15-minute ceremony in which nurses, police officers, firefighters and doctors who helped victims were mentioned by name. He believes hockey is a complicated sport and he's happy to have more fans for the Knights.

The first goal, just 2:31 into the game off the stick of Tomas Nosek, seemed like something from a dream-the exact way you'd want an expansion franchise christening its own building to begin.

The team was also introduced along with first responders. Knights defenseman and Las Vegas native Deryk Engelland spoke eloquently to the fans, vowing that the Golden Knights "will do everything we can to help you and our city heal".

Picturing Las Vegas' first major-league sporting event in my mind's eye these past 20 years, I've always envisioned it as highly emotional-but nothing close to what I witnessed Tuesday night at T-Mobile Arena.

The players still walked a gold carpet into the arena before the game, cheered on by those early-arriving fans lining the walkway.

Neal said Friday night he had tickets to last Sunday night's concert in Las Vegas, at which 58 people were killed and almost 500 injured, but decided not to attend. Thankfully, we have the Golden Knights. The Knights are off to a 2-0 start, and only two other expansion teams - the 1967 Los Angeles Kings and 1967 Oakland Seals - started 2-0.

Hockey players are being led onto the ice by the real heroes.

Piazza hit a home run into the cold NY night at Shea Stadium in the Mets' first home game after the September 11 terrorist attacks for a late-game victory.

A ceremonial puck drop followed, featuring survivors of the shooting. "This situation here our players came to us to ask what they can do". The events of the past nine days have taught them more about this place and its people than they might have gleaned in five "normal" years. It was the least we could do for those people that went through that.

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