By ALAN SNEL
His nickname is Wild Bill.
But LVSportsBiz.com thinks Vegas Golden Knights forward William Karlsson should be called, “Dollar Bill.”
And the reason is Karlsson has been money all season long for the Cinderella Golden Knights, a rookie NHL franchise that continues to defy the odds and sits atop the Western Conference standings with a stunning 60 points at the half-way point of the 82-game schedule.
Karlsson scored the game-winning goal tonight, his 22nd this season, to propel the Golden Knights past the New York Rangers, 2-1, before the season’s biggest crowd of 18,234 fans at T-Mobile Arena.
LVSportsBiz.com asked Karlsson at his locker after the game if he’d prefer Dollar Bill to Wild Bill and we have his answer. Check it out.
LVSportsBiz.com even asked Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury if he might want to call his teammate Dollar Bill instead of Wild Bill.
And here’s Fleury’s response. Check out The Flower’s big smile and laughter.
The Golden Knights are the business story of the NHL season so far, generating strong revenues from retail, sponsorship and ticket sales through the first half of the 2017-18 season. LVSportsBiz.com looked at this team’s business side in a recent story.
The business side is thriving because there is a love affair between this expansion franchise with an unprecedented winning record and a community-fan base that can’t gobble up enough jerseys and licensed merchandise.
One of the Golden Knights players who represents this love affair is defenseman Brad Hunt, who is accessible to fans most days at City National Arena, the team’s $31 million practice center and headquarters that has evolved into a local community hub. LVSportsBiz.com doesn’t have to quote Hunt because we caught up with the scrappy, friendly defenseman at his locker after tonight’s game. His words say it all.
Interestingly enough, much as been written and broadcasted about the Golden Knights being a team of players that were not wanted by their teams around the league. But little has been mentioned of coach Gerard Gallant, who was fired by the Florida Panthers in November 2016 and hired by the Golden Knights to lead this upstart team.
LVSportsBiz.com asked Gallant after tonight’s game about the personal satisfaction he has derived from his new team’s early journey to the top of the standings. The coach said it’s been a great nine months.
That’s actually a rather meaty quote from Gallant, who prefers to tell reporters that his team needs to take it one game at a time.
Gallant said his team can use the rest of this bye week.
But LVSportsBiz.com never rests. Look for more top sports-business coverage this upcoming week.
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