By ALAN SNEL
To the American worker, it means time and a half pay.
For the Vegas Golden Knights, it means victory. (Spoiler alert: a win in extra time happened again last night, and technically it occurred in something called a shootout.)
The National Hockey League’s Cinderella story is this rookie team from Las Vegas that dropped the “Las” part in its official name. The players wear home uniforms that are mostly steely gray and the color reminds me of those uniforms worn by the cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where I used to report as a newspaper writer on that mighty historic institution on the Hudson River 50 miles north of New York City. (Psst, Golden Knights owner Bill Foley is a 1967 West Point grad.)
This new hockey team of players other teams were not willing to keep has a thing for tying their foes after 60 minutes of regulation play, but then defeating them in overtime (or in the shootout which happens when the score is still tied after the five-minute overtime, like it did last night when the Golden Knights beat the Anaheim Ducks, 4-3.) This expansion franchise has won six games in OT or the shootout — more than a third of its 17 victories this season.
I was fascinated by the Golden Knights’ tendency to win games after 60 minutes of play.
Just so you now, the team’s players are some of the nicest professional athletes I have ever met. So, I’m thinking they are so nice that they enjoy snagging the two points from the overtime/shootout win, while also allowing the opponent to skate away with a point from the regulation tie.
Then I inquired with two players and the even-keeled coach of this surprise team about the Golden Knights’ extra time phenomenon.
Let’s check in with goalie Malcolm Subban, who won the shootout with the Anaheim Ducks by blocking three Ducks players’ shots who each skated in alone on the 23-year-old, but was stymied each time by Subban.
I asked Subban if the Golden Knights players should earn time and a half pay for games that they win in overtime. Subban’s polite answer is here.
Then, it was off to ask a question to winger Alex Tuch, a chatty 21-year-old Syracuse, NY native. Here’s Tuch’s talk on whether he should receive time and a half pay for overtime duty.
Then, it was off to talk with the coach of this super-feel-good team.
Now, I’m not a sportswriter. I’m just a regular lowly news reporter who writes on the business or political side of sports in Las Vegas. So, while all the sports writers refer to the Golden Knights coach by his nickname, “Turk,” LVSportsBiz.com will simply call him by his regular name, Gerard Gallant.
The sports writers filed into a room to ask Gallant questions about the game after we interviewed a few players in the Golden Knights locker room for a few minutes.
And after a few of the sports writers asked very impressive technical hockey questions, I asked my overtime question to Gallant. FYI, here’s a picture I took of Gallant a few months ago.
Personally, I thought Gallant, who looks like a very bright fella, was playing dumb when he gave me this line about overtime: “I don’t know what’s going on.”
Oh yes you do. He then proceeded to say this, “It’s a lot of fun and entertaining . . . we’re enjoying them right now and hopefully that doesn’t change.”
And Gallant even had a sense of humor when he cracked about overtime, “Maybe we sell more beer?”
Yes, more beer — and more revenue. I knew all these overtimes meant more money.
(By the way, LVSportsBiz.com is having a little fun with this overtime chatter. But seriously, the Fair Labor Standards Act outlines federal overtime provisions that require employees covered by this Act to receive overtime pay when working more than 40 hours during the work week. And that overtime is required to be at least one and a half times their pay rate. Just so you know.)
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