By ALAN SNEL
If you tossed your hat onto the T-Mobile Arena ice when Vegas Golden Knights forward William Karlsson scored his third goal today for the team’s first-ever hat trick, know that your headgear will be part of Golden Knights lore.
The team scooped up the few hundred hats, stuffed them in a big plastic garbage bag and will put them in a place of honor to be determined. All those caps will be on display, so if you threw your hat from your seat you just might see it again one day when the team picks a place to display the hats.
“I hope they go to something good,” Karlsson told LVSportsBiz.com after the Golden Knights defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 6-3, during a 12:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve game.
In the NHL, sometimes the hats that are tossed onto the ice when a player scores a hat trick are donated to charity or just thrown out.
But the first-year Golden Knights recognized the historic nature of the caps that came flying onto the ice when Karlsson dove, swung his stick and made solid contact with the puck to propel the puck into an empty net with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
“I really wanted that goal,” Karlsson told LVSportsBiz.com.
Check out the Las Vegas media scrum around “Wild Bill” after his big night. (LVSportsBiz.com notes that Wild Bill is actually an ironic nickname and doesn’t describe his personality — at least what he shows of it to the media — because Karlsson acts rather mellow and laid back with reporters.
Coach Gerard Gallant — when not saying the team needs “to play one game at a time” — was impressed with Karlsson’s effort for the third goal.
“He made an unbelievable effort,” Gallant told the assembled media after the game.
The Golden Knights, always looking to generate revenues, announced a 10 percent off discount for fans buying hats in the Armory team store after the game at T-Mobile Arena.
Fans appreciated the hats that came raining down on the ice.
Golden Knights fan Alex Velez said he saw Maple Leaf fans in the lower bowl pick up hats that were tossed from the upper bowl and throw those hats onto the ice.
“That was so classy,” Velez’s buddy, Golden Knights fan Joshua Dufner, said.
The hat trick gives Karlsson 20 goals for the season.
And after the game at his locker, he pointed out, “Anyone can be a hero.”
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