The big story of the 2022-23 NHL season was undoubtedly the rise to glory of the Vegas Golden Knights, winning their first Stanley Cup in just their sixth season, much to the delight of coach Bruce Cassidy.
The Golden Knights beat the Florida Panthers 9-3 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at their home T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
It was Cassidy’s first season with the Golden Knights after he joined from the Boston Bruins almost a year to the day before lifting the Stanley Cup. He doesn’t think it’ll be the last sporting trophy to be headed to Sin City either, coming after the Las Vegas Aces won the WNBA last fall.
VEGAS ON THE RISE
“Vegas has become a market just like all the other major ones now, slowly but surely,” Cassidy said. “You gotta build some history to do that. And to build history you gotta win championships. So good for the Aces and good for us to get championships.
“It’s obviously taking off. It’s kind of nice to be part of the infancy of this. I mean, I might look back when I’m 85 years old and say, ‘I was there when it all started.’ Which would be kind of cool.”
This season has seen a big step-up for both Cassidy and the Golden Knights and a big step forward for a city that couldn’t even advertise itself as a tourist attraction during the Super Bowl a few years ago. Now it has finally won its first ‘Big 4’ championship.
President of hockey operations George McPhee says the win means more than just the coveted trophy this year: “Yes, it’s great to have your name on a Stanley Cup. Yes, it’s great to get a Stanley Cup ring, but the experience with this group of players, that experience is amazing and rewarding, but the uplift that you give to a city is really what matters.”
Golden redemption for Cassidy and Vegas
Both Cassidy and the Golden Knights had come close to Stanley Cup glory before, with his Bruins losing to the St Louis Blues in the 2019 Finals while Vegas reached the semi-finals in 2021.
For Cassidy, it comes as a redemption after missing out with the Bruins, but he doesn’t see it as revenge for his firing, even with the Bruins going out in the first round this year.
“It’s about us. Now it didn’t matter what Boston did. We’re Stanley Cup champions. I told you guys a long time ago, in ’19, I just want my name on the damn Cup. It’s going on the damn Cup. It’s that simple.”
For the Golden Knights, it was a fitting end to a spectacular season that saw them finish with the most points in the Western Conference and beat the Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars on their way to the Finals.
Winning the Stanley Cup made them the youngest franchise to do so since its first major expansion in 1967, ahead of the 1974 Philadelphia Flyers who took seven seasons to land the trophy.
Written and distributed by Chat T Sports.