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Golden Knights’ historic home opener goes Oct. 10 versus Coyotes

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Mark the date in your calendars.

The Vegas Golden Knights have announced the date of their inaugural home opener. Their first-ever NHL regular season home game at T-Mobile Arena goes Oct. 10 versus the Arizona Coyotes.

The Golden Knights will make history on Oct. 6, when they play their first NHL regular season game on the road against the Dallas Stars, according to reports.

The full NHL schedule will be released Thursday.

On Tuesday, the Golden Knights, as well as the rest of the NHL, unveiled their brand new jerseys for the 2017-18 season. Vegas has also submitted its expansion draft selections.

Other notable home openers from across the league:

— The Penguins open up at PPG Paints Arena on Oct. 4 against the St. Louis Blues. The Penguins will unveil their 2017 Stanley Cup championship banner before the game.

— The Stars’ home opener goes Oct. 6, as they will officially welcome the Golden Knights into the NHL.

— The Bruins host the Western Conference-champion Nashville Predators on Oct. 5.

Here is the full list from the NHL:

Anaheim Ducks: Thursday, Oct. 5 vs. Arizona
Arizona Coyotes: Saturday, Oct. 7 vs. Vegas
Boston Bruins: Thursday, Oct. 5 vs. Nashville
Buffalo Sabres: Thursday, Oct. 5 vs. Montreal
Calgary Flames: Saturday, Oct. 7 vs. Winnipeg
Carolina Hurricanes: Saturday, Oct. 7 vs. Minnesota
Chicago Blackhawks: Thursday, Oct. 5 vs. Pittsburgh
Colorado Avalanche: Wednesday, Oct. 11 vs. Boston
Columbus Blue Jackets: Friday, Oct. 6 vs. NY Islanders
Dallas Stars: Friday, Oct. 6 vs. Vegas
Detroit Red Wings: Thursday, Oct. 5 vs. Minnesota
Edmonton Oilers: Wednesday, Oct. 4 vs. Calgary
Florida Panthers: Saturday, Oct. 7 vs. Tampa Bay
Los Angeles Kings: Thursday, Oct. 5 vs. Philadelphia
Minnesota Wild: Saturday, Oct. 14 vs. Columbus
Montreal Canadiens: Tuesday, Oct. 10 vs. Chicago
Nashville Predators: Tuesday, Oct. 10 vs. Philadelphia
New Jersey Devils: Saturday, Oct. 7 vs. Colorado
New York Islanders: Saturday, Oct. 7 vs. Buffalo
New York Rangers: Thursday, Oct. 5 vs. Colorado
Ottawa Senators: Thursday, Oct. 5 vs. Washington
Philadelphia Flyers: Saturday, Oct. 14 vs. Washington
Pittsburgh Penguins: Wednesday, Oct. 4 vs. St. Louis
San Jose Sharks: Wednesday, Oct. 4 vs. Philadelphia
St. Louis Blues: Saturday, Oct. 7 vs. Dallas
Tampa Bay Lightning: Friday, Oct. 6 vs Florida
Toronto Maple Leafs: Saturday, Oct. 7 vs. NY Rangers
Vancouver Canucks: Saturday, Oct. 7 vs. Edmonton
Vegas Golden Knights: Tuesday, Oct. 10 vs. Arizona
Washington Capitals: Saturday, Oct. 7 vs Montreal
Winnipeg Jets: Wednesday, Oct. 4 vs. Toronto

Report: Wild’s Haula agrees to sign with Vegas

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It appears the Minnesota Wild have lost forward Erik Haula to the Vegas Golden Knights, according to Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The Wild had exposed Eric Staal, Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella, but apparently had been in talks with Vegas general manager George McPhee to make a deal. It was reported later yesterday that Haula could sign with the Golden Knights, which would mean Minnesota keeps Staal, Dumba and Scandella.

It’s still costly for Minnesota, which reportedly also loses 2014 first-round pick and prospect winger Alex Tuch.

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Haula, who would have become a restricted free agent July 1, agreed to a multi-year deal with the Golden Knights during their exclusive free-agency window that ended at 7 a.m. Pacific time this morning. That was also the deadline for Vegas to submit its initial 30-player roster to the NHL and sign and submit unprotected free agents.

In exchange for the Golden Knights choosing Haula in expansion and steering clear of, among others, defensemen Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella and center Eric Staal, the Wild has agreed to trade prospect Alex Tuch and a conditional future draft pick to Vegas, sources say.

Haula turned 26 years old in March. He played in 72 regular season games for Minnesota this past season, scoring 15 goals — a new single-season career high — and 26 points. He was in the final year of a two-year deal with an annual cap hit of $1 million.

He was a pending restricted free agent.

The deadline for Vegas to submit its expansion draft selections was today, 10 a.m. ET.

Welcome Shea Theodore to the trade rumor mill

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Today is the day.

The deadline for the Vegas Golden Knights to submit their expansion draft selections has passed, and now we await for the roster to get revealed, as well as the supposedly many side deals George McPhee had with other clubs around the NHL.

Yesterday, McPhee said he had “at least” six trades completed. The Anaheim Ducks were among the clubs believed to have made a deal with Vegas.

On Wednesday morning, prior to the expansion draft selection deadline, TSN’s Bob McKenzie dropped this little tidbit involving Shea Theodore:

Nothing has been confirmed or announced yet, and McKenzie added this qualifier.

If this indeed is the case, that would be quite a pick-up for the Golden Knights. The Ducks selected Theodore in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft. He’s been up and down between the Ducks and their minor league affiliate over the past two years but is only 21 years old and has shown plenty of potential as a young defenseman.

He’s also entering the final year of his entry-level contract.

This seems to be the price some general managers have to pay in order to keep certain other unprotected players on their roster. The Minnesota Wild were among the teams that exposed three good players — Eric Staal, Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella — and may have to get a deal done in order to avoid losing one of those players.

The Golden Knights, meanwhile, are in a position to stockpile a number of additional draft picks to help increase the growth of their young talent pool going forward.

NHL takes over Vegas with awards show, expansion draft

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It’s 116 degrees in the ice hockey capital of the world.

For the next few days, Las Vegas is the place to be on skates. The desert gambling mecca is hosting the NHL’s annual postseason awards show on Wednesday, when the league also will reveal the Vegas Golden Knights’ choices in the expansion player draft to stock the club with talent for its inaugural season in the fall.

Las Vegas has hosted the awards show for several years, welcoming the NHL’s best for a red carpet presentation and a short week of partying in a city that knows a little something about entertainment.

But Vegas’ hometown team is in the spotlight for the first time this year, reaching a major milestone in its process of becoming the NHL’s 31st franchise – and doing it during a heat wave.

Read more:

Golden Knights reveal brand new jerseys

McPhee: ‘We’re going to be a good team’

Combining the awards show and the expansion draft should only enhance the fun for Vegas fans welcoming their city’s first major professional sports team. Thousands of those fans are expected to gather at T-Mobile Arena after the expansion draft for a raucous “Round Table Rally” to celebrate the Golden Knights’ first major acquisitions.

“You don’t always have to do things the same way,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said of the two-for-one Vegas show. “We’re not afraid to try something a little different. We think it’s going to be a lot of fun for our fans, particularly those here in Las Vegas.”

The Golden Knights have an NHL-ready arena, a veteran front office, an eager coaching staff, an eye-catching logo and positive momentum in their new community. This week, they’ll finally have one player apiece from the other 30 clubs, putting recognizable faces on the franchise for the first time.

The expansion draft affects every team in the league, so many of the stars convening in Vegas will be paying close attention to the names of the teammates they’ll be losing to Sin City.

“I think we’re going to talk about the awards, but not as much as we’re going to talk about the expansion draft and who got picked and who didn’t, and what the team’s going to look like,” Boston forward Patrice Bergeron said. “It’s definitely exciting to be here and to see it firsthand.”

Golden Knights owner Bill Foley paid a whopping $500 million as an expansion fee for the privilege of owning an NHL franchise. The league subsequently structured the expansion draft in a way that essentially creates more chances for Vegas to grab quality pros from the rest of the league.

Big names with bad contracts are available in abundance, but general manager George McPhee is likely to structure the core of a young, hard-hitting team from the available talent. General managers around the league have frantically negotiated with McPhee in recent weeks to keep their most valued unprotected players through side trades, but not every team has enough assets to do so.

“I’m very interested to see the kind of price teams paid, and to see what the currency on the market is,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. “But also, you’re going to see how teams you compete against are affected or not affected. We’re fortunate in our situation. With so many young players, we’re not affected the way some teams are. But lots of teams are going to lose good players. Now do they make a deal and lose more, or did they not and just watch and see it happen?”

 

Report: ‘A legitimate possibility’ Hossa has played his last NHL game

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With the NHL in Las Vegas and then heading to Chicago for the Entry Draft, serious news concerning Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa has emerged.

From Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet:

According to several sources, there is a legitimate possibility Hossa has played his final NHL game. (He could not be reached for comment. Neither could his agent, Ritch Winter. The Blackhawks declined to comment.) Apparently, he suffers from a serious allergic reaction to the equipment he wears.

The sources who confirmed the allergy stressed not to make fun of it, with one saying, “It’s only funny to anyone who’s never had it.” Details are sketchy, because no one would give full information, but the medication necessary to combat the allergy is potent enough that doctors wanted his blood tested every few weeks to make sure there were no major side effects.

That’s very serious stuff, and word is doctors worried about Hossa taking the medicine for extended periods of time.

Hossa is now 38 years old, and has played 1,309 regular season games in the NHL.

Despite pushing close to 40, Hossa has remained a consistent offensive threat for the Blackhawks. Last season, he scored 26 goals and 45 points.

He still has four years remaining on his current 12-year, $63.3 million contract that has an annual cap hit of $5.275 million.