Amidst several technical difficulties during the press conference, owner Bill Foley and the Black Knight Sports & Entertainment group announced that the NHL’s newest franchise will be named the Vegas Golden Knights. Commissioner Gary Bettman, welcomed by the usual boos from fans, announced the official addition of the league’s 31st franchise Tuesday night at T-Mobile Arena.
It had been speculated for months that the team name would include “Knights” in some form, as Bill Foley is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where the mascot is the Black Knights. His original intention was to use the same name, but he received resistance from the school. “Knights” alone was also overruled, as the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League have the rights to that name. Rumors began swirling around the names Desert Knights, Silver Knights, and Golden Knights, as various reports of trademarks began arising.
The Golden Knights take to the ice at the start of the 2017-18 season next fall, and their roster will began to take form with an expansion draft, scheduled for June 21, 2017, and during the NHL Entry Draft, where they will be guaranteed a pick no lower than sixth overall. General manager George McPhee, former GM of the Washington Capitals and former vice president of the New York Islanders, will be in charge on getting the roster set for next fall.