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Vegas Golden Knights – Greatest Expansion Team in Sports History? Let’s Take A Look
The Vegas Golden Knights have already exceeded fans’ loftiest expectations of an NHL expansion team. Not only did they advance to the NHL playoffs, but they swept the LA Kings in the first round. As far as expansion teams go, the Vegas Knights have already secured a spot at the discussion table for the best first-year teams of all time. Today we take a look at all the great expansion teams in professional sports history.
Comparing the Vegas Knights to expansion teams from other sports
Vegas blows away expansion NHL teams in terms of success out of the gate. The Florida Panthers were a competitive team, but they never really posed a threat to make a run for a Stanley Cup championship. To say that the Vegas Knights are the best expansion team in history, we should compare them to the best first-year franchise teams in other sports.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. MLB’s top first-year teams
The Los Angeles Angels were the only team to finish the season with more than 70 wins. The Golden Knights had a +.7 point differential during the regular season. The LA Angels were -.3. When you consider that more total runs are scored per game in baseball, this statistic is even greater. So they beat the LA Angels by far easily when it comes to the best first-year NHL team against the NFL.
Now let’s take a quick look at other professional sports:
In the NBA, the 1967 Chicago Bulls are ranked first on the list of NBA’s most successful expansion teams. No one could top his 33 win freshman season. They were still well below a .500 team and never discussed being a championship caliber team.
What was the Vegas Golden Knights record during the regular season? They went 51-24 with 7 OTL (overtime losses). Only the Tampa Bay Lightning (54), the Nashville Predators (53) and the Winnipeg Jets (52) have more wins during the regular season. Vegas was in uncharted waters, setting all-time records for expansion teams throughout the season.
In the NFL, no team has won more than 7 games in their inaugural season. The Carolina Panthers went 7-9 in 1995. So again, there is no team in football that can hold a candle to the performance of the Vegas Knights.
The Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in sports history – hands down
In closing, the Vegas Golden Knights ran away with the “Greatest Expansion Team in Sports History” award. The Golden Knights were 200-1 odds to win the Stanley Cup (Vegas odds) at the start of the season. They are now 4-1 odds to bring home the cup.
If the Vegas Golden Knights never win another game during the rest of the playoffs, they can still claim to be the greatest expansion team in sports history.
It is very ironic that a sports team from “Vegas” would be able to defy such long odds to perform so well. If you want to gain a fan base, an expansion team just needs to perform well and provide hope for the future. In Vegas, the future is NOW! Whatever happens from here is just icing on the cake. The Vegas Golden Knights are here to stay and their growing fan base couldn’t be more excited!
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