NHL's Vegas Knights Honor Route 91 Victims & First Responders at Inaugural Home Opener
Las Vegas' first major-league team, the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights, paid tribute to the 58 victims the Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting and first responders during the pregame ceremony at Tuesday night's (Oct. 10) inaugural home opener. According to ESPN.com, the victims' names were “emblazoned on the ice” before the game against the Arizona Coyotes began, along with a 58-second moment silence for those who were killed in the worst mass shooting in modern American history.
In a further tribute, the sideboards in T-Mobile Arena eschewed ads during the ceremony in favor the message “Vegas strong.” Before the game, the team's general manager, George McPhee, explained to the Las Vegas Sun. “Needless to say it's not going to be a typical opener… We'll save that for Friday. (Tonight) is not about us, it's about honoring and remembering the victims, and supporting the families and recognizing the first responders.”
As part the ceremony, some those first responders escorted the players onto the ice before the Knights' 5-2 victory before a packed house, with the teams lining up together as a sign unity for the National Anthem. Defenseman and Las Vegas resident Deryk Engelland addressed the crowd following a video showing images first responders. “To all the brave first responders who have worked timelessly and courageously throughout this whole tragedy, we thank you,” he said. “To the families and friends the victims, know that we’ll do everything that we can to help you and our city heal. We are Vegas Strong.”