Late this past June the city of Las Vegas was awarded an NHL franchise, at first my thought was that it could be a good market due to the fact that Americans love gambling on anything, that alone would put asses in the seats. I'm still hopeful for the new team because it adds spot in the Western Conference standings and the opportunity for more talented hockey guys to lace up the skates at the highest level, something that gets my pants movin for sure. What I completely overlooked was the fact that any team name with Las Vegas attached to it will sound gimmicky and much like that of a Single-A short season baseball team. Seriously, you can take of the most sacred NHL team names in league history such as the Blackhawks, add Las Vegas to the front of it and it just sounds fucking stupid. All of that being sad, if they named the team right away, no matter what it was, fans could know what the new kids in town will don on their silky sweaters come October 2017. It is almost September, we are closing in on a new season and this year's world cup and the Las Vegas franchise has just trademarked a team name......Just kidding they've trademarked three. I always say if you have three team names you really have none. All three of the trademarked names end in Knights which is something the owners have firmly believed in from the beginning, and if it were not for Army's Black Knights and The London Knights owning the name in Canada, they would probably have decided by now. A few weeks ago there were rumors swirling that LV was gonna pick up a team name that would contain some adjective and the word hawks, sorry but this isn't the CFL, guys, can't have two teams called the Roughriders (After fact checking via Canadian web I have found out that is no longer the case, but just know that two teams called the Roughriders was a thing.)
This drawn out decision reminds me of another drawn out decision that was made by a 23 year old college hockey superstar just last week by a fella named Jimmy Vesey. Jimmy is an American kid who went to Harvard for all four years of his collegiate career and of course the NHL has a ridiculous loophole that allows guys who do that to become free agents if they don't sign with the team that drafted them at the conclusion of their college seasons. Vesey was drafted in the third round of the 2012 draft by the Nashville Predators, a team that beat my beloved Ducks in the first round of the playoffs before falling to San Jose in the seventh game of the second round. Nashville is a growing hockey market, not to the likes of Boston, Toronto, Chicago, or New York just yet, but they are also a better team than all of those guys aside from the perennial favorite Blackhawks. Nashville was smart and traded Jimbo's rights to Buffalo so that they could get a return rather than lose a drafted player for nothing. Literally from May through August the hockey world was waiting for a 23 year old ivy league kid to decide on a team after spurning the consistent playoff team that drafted him. Much like the Las Vegas team naming decision, if Jimmy made his choice quickly it would have left a bad impression but at least would have been over with. Jimmy and Las Vegas were and are gonna look dumb regardless of their decisions but both took the annoying route and want to drag things out. Keep in mind, Jimmy Vesey is 23, a college superstar yes, but 23 years old. There will be top prospects entering the league next season that are 5 years younger than Vesey, the guy who soaked up a dumb amount of spotlight this offseason will be outscored next year by kids who were in 7th grade when he got drafted. A week before Jimmy made his decision, reports were saying he wanted to stay close to home, he lives in Boston and his dad works in Toronto, okay so he'll sign with the Bruins or Maple Leafs, right? nope, he signs with The New York Rangers for christ sake. Jimmy is the girl who leads you on for years then posts a selfie of you two on instagram with the dagger of a caption, "Best Friend!!!" Boston and Toronto were the good guys who sit around patiently waiting for their chance then get best friended on social media.
The Jimmy Vesey and Las Vegas storylines were the only things that hockey fans could really focus on after the stanley cup concluded, both could have been fun for a week and decided on so the rest of us hockey nerds could focus on the 7th round pick 18 year old kids that we will never see play in the NHL tear up a development camp. Fuck Vesey and screw Las Vegas NHL, they will literally be unsuccessful based on their indecisiveness on picking a name that will not be good no matter what it will be. Vesey was the most high profile prospect not last named Laine or Matthews and he will probably put up a 30 (point) spot next year in New York. Maybe I will be able to enjoy his presence on a nice wintry night at the XL center in Hartford, Connecticut.