The Vegas Golden Knights have played one complete NHL regular season and are already making the franchise’s first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals. They’ve built a brand out in the desert of Nevada. Historically, expansion teams in American sports struggle in their opening years like the Toronto Raptors, Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies, and Houston Texans. However, the Golden Knights have broken the curse.
In the 2017-2018 NHL season, their inaugural season, the Golden Knights boasted an astonishing 51 wins, securing the top place in the Pacific Division, and a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Currently, they are up 1-0 in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Washington Capitals. This situation begs a few major questions. How did the Vegas Golden Knights accomplish so much in their first season of NHL play? And what are the implications of their success?