CAN THE VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS REPEAT AS STANLEY CUP CHAMPS?

Whether or not you subscribe to the belief that the Stanley Cup is the toughest trophy to win in all of pro sports, it’s certainly true that earning an NHL championship is no walk in the park.

This spring, the Vegas Golden Knights set a new standard for modern expansion when they won their first title in just their sixth season of existence. That’s one year longer than it took the NHL Edmonton Oilers, but that was a bit of a different circumstance: they were a pre-existing WHA team that merged into the league in 1979 with some key pieces in place, including coach Glen Sather and an 18-year-old scoring prodigy by the name of Wayne Gretzky.

CAN THE VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS REPEAT AS STANLEY CUP CHAMPS?

The Golden Knights started right from scratch. And while their expansion draft terms were much more favorable than the teams that joined the league during the 1990s, perhaps the greatest gift of all was that blank salary-cap slate, which has now also been used effectively by the Seattle Kraken.

Vegas also arrived on the NHL scene with unprecedented audacity. From the beginning, owner Bill Foley made lofty proclamations about playoff spots and Cup wins. Then, the ‘Golden Misfits’ dared to reach the Stanley Cup final in their very first season. And in subsequent years, the brain trust of George McPhee and Kelly McCrimmon has shown they’ll stop at nothing to keep upgrading their organization.

Whether or not you subscribe to the belief that the Stanley Cup is the toughest trophy to win in all of pro sports, it’s certainly true that earning an NHL championship is no walk in the park. This spring, the Vegas Golden Knights set a new standard for modern expansion when they won their first…

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