Las Vegas–Yesterday at “The Armory” the Vegas Golden Knights had some of the newest members of the family on hand for post Vegas Draft reaction. Those players were goaltender Marc-André Fleury, defenseman Brayden McNabb, Deryk Engelland, and Jason Garrison.
Each player took the time from fresh off being selected to Vegas to speak with members of the media on what has been a crazy time for them and their families.
Of course, by default, much of the reporters on hand went to Fleury first to get his thoughts on what the journey has been like for him transitioning from the Pittsburgh Penguins who in recently won the Stanley Cup over Nashville to being with the Vegas Golden Knights.
For Fleury and his status in the league, he’s basically who gonna be the face of the Golden Knights. When Fleur’s name was selected at the 29th selection the fans in attendance at T-Mobile went wild.
Fleury shared his reaction with reporters at the official team store.
“It was surprising, I really did not expect to go on stage, it was just a nice welcome and gets me excited to get this started.” Fleury said.
In terms of the face of the franchise role and not gone thru it before Fleury is not used to being that go to guy like Sid has been for so many years back in Pittsburgh.
“I’m not looking for this, I want to contribute, do my job and stop the puck and win some games.” Says Fleury.
For Fleury, he talked about what his emotions were going thru his head during the Stanley Cup Parade back in Pittsburgh.
“Yeah, little bit emotional going down the streets one last time, lot of signs, people chanting my name, it was a good time, it’s a good way to leave.” Fleury replied.
With Garrison’s return back to the Western Conference he talked how to establish that culture with the Vegas Golden Knights.
“Yeah I mean, you want to establish something, once it’s kind of set in stone of whose on the team, you want to try to get together as much as you can and establish a friendship and a bond.” Garrison said.
For the Golden Knights organization being so young and what Garrison mentioned is very important part of building that team identity.
Garrison spent a few seasons up north across the border the Vancouver Canucks during the 2012-2014 hockey campaigns.
He also talked about building team chemistry during the offseason.
“It’s crucial for sure, it’s a different situation for everybody to come to a team where there is not team.” Garrison mentions.
“You want to establish a friendship and a culture right away and it starts right now and leads into training camp.” Garrison adds.
The Golden Knights are still going thru the post Vegas Draft transactions in refining who their team is going to be like come training camp.
McPhee has already dealt two defensemen to the Eastern Conference with Schlemko off to Montréal and Trevor van Riemsdyk to Carolina.
With defenseman Brayden McNabb he touched on the transition from leaving the Los Angeles Kings to the Vegas Golden Knights. For McNabb, this is not the first time in his playing career in the NHL that he switched teams so he provided some insight on that.
“I think it definitely, the first time it’s tough, it’s tough going from a lot of good friendships and not knowing anyone and building new relationships, so it definitely helps for sure.” McNabb replied.
The first time McNabb moved on from one team to another was during the 2014 campaign when he was traded by Buffalo to Los Angeles along with teammate at the time in Jonathan Parker. That deal happened on On March 5, 2014.
My colleague and friend Ron Futrell with CBS 8 did his weekly IceBreaker special and spoke with Vegas native Deryk Engelland.
June 22nd IceBreaker’s Episode, check it.