How Vegas Became THE Goaltending Team

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 02: Logan Thompson #36 and Adin Hill #33 of the Vegas Golden Knights celebrate on the ice after the team's 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena on November 02, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 02: Logan Thompson #36 and Adin Hill #33 of the Vegas Golden Knights celebrate on the ice after the team's 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena on November 02, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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If you asked any NHL pundit entering the 2017-2018 season about the Vegas Golden Knights, they would’ve told you the same thing: This team needs a few years to become a contender. They were a team of literal misfits that many thought wouldn’t contend immediately.

One notable name from the Expansion Draft was Marc-Andre Fleury, who came from Pittsburgh. The three-time Stanley Cup winner was a surprise, with the Penguins moving on to the younger Matt Murray. Hey, you gotta start somewhere and get a dominating goaltender, right?

That’s what the legendary “Flower” did. Aside from leading Vegas to the Stanley Cup Final in their first season (for non-hockey fans, yes, you read that right), he won his first Vezina trophy in Las Vegas (2021).

He was eventually traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in a rather controversial fashion. Fleury’s agent, Allan Walsh, found out about this until seeing it on social media. This drew the obvious angst of not only Golden Knights fans but the hockey community.

Still, the impact left by the former All-Star couldn’t be denied. He left a blueprint for Vegas to succeed, becoming a fan favorite in the process. Marc-Andre Fleury will forever live as a legend in the Golden Knights community, simply for putting in the work and establishing the norm.