Instead, the all-white boards simply displayed the message "Vegas Strong". Las Vegas was the largest metropolitan area in the USA without one of the four traditional major professional sports, and Foley paid $500 million for a franchise to play at T-Mobile Arena, which was already under construction.
The Golden Knights originally planned a giant ceremony to commemorate the beginning of the hockey season.
"Everything changed here with the events of October 1 and tonight's game will be about paying tribute to the victims, recognizing the incredible job the first responders did in this situation to keep it from being potentially much worse", Golden Knights assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon said on Hockey Central at Noon. Neal, a winger from Ontario, wears number 18 for Las Vegas.
Just nine days after the Las Vegas Strip shooting massacre, the Golden Knights reverently honoured the victims and heroes before the long-awaited home debut of the city's first major professional sports franchise.
First responders take to the ice one-by-one, accompanied by members of the team.
It's great to see a sports team reach out with not only money but their time and energy to try to help people who suffered a awful tragedy.
After the game, the Coyotes remained on the ice with the Knights to salute the fans.
The Golden Knights welcomed first responders on the ice during a 15-minute ceremony in which nurses, police officers, firefighters and doctors who helped victims were mentioned by name. They're already the talk of the league thanks to their dramatic victories, and their plucky spirit that has made them feel like a living, breathing NHL team in record time. The Knights have earned a couple of 2-1 wins, both on third period comebacks, one of which had to be settled in overtime.
The explanation is that I love sports, don't have a hockey team, and visit Las Vegas enough to apparently pass the test at the Golden Knights adoption center.
Piazza hit a home run into the cold NY night at Shea Stadium in the Mets' first home game after the September 11 terrorist attacks for a late-game victory.
But there's another emotional factor in play. I saw real appreciation as I watched, and I think that human side of players stretches far beyond tragedy. "I have no doubt they'll be ready to play". We've got to get ready to go.
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