It’s Rivalry Week at the mothership (SB Nation) and we’re taking part by airing our grievances with each and every NHL team. None will be sparred, not even NHL Seattle. So settle in as we continue the haters ball with the Vegas Golden Knights next on tap.
Chance winning the best mascot fan vote
Okay so like first of all, this is bullshit and everyone knows this, but also I’m still mad online about it and we’re gonna talk about it here.
The best mascot in the NHL is hands down —unequivocally— Gritty. And it’s not even close, people. It’s the Gritman by a country mile. The fact that this tweet from the league had just a scotch over 500 likes and nearly the same amount of replies and reply tweets signals that yes, people had issues —and even outside of the Flyers fan base.
Gritty is a man, woman, thing of the people. He runs naked through football stadiums, fires stadium foods at patrons’ faces at high speeds, and even keep spoiled kids in line from time to time. He’s a working class mascot with a blue collar work ethic, not some product of a few lucky rolls of the dice in a sweaty casino filled with degenerates.
But don’t worry everyone knows that the league fixed this “NHLFanChoice” in favor of their precious Golden Knights and that’s okay, because we found the real winner after an extensive BSH investigation of the NHL’s shared drive.
Reaching the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season
This one is kind of a two-for-one deal since the Golden Knights used a ridiculously well setup expansion draft from the NHL in which Vegas could hold all other 30 teams hostage for more than a year in order to propel themselves to an historic expansion season.
You could certainly hate the NHL more than Vegas for this —and acknowledge that then-GM George McPhee played the system given beautifully— but at the end of the day the Golden Knights played in a Stanley Cup Final faster than anyone else and it was hard not to be bitter. It’s incredibly hard to win a Stanley Cup, and just making it to the final alone can be among the most daunting tasks in all of sport and here were the new kids on the block making things look far too easy.
Outside of NHL fans, the league looked like a joke with other sports fans not knowing how well Vegas was setup for success through that expansion draft in their inaugural season. They questioned the legitimacy of the league and laughed at how quickly an expansion team could theoretically win a championship since it hasn’t been that close in any other sport ever.
Losing to the Capitals in said Stanley Cup Final
Not only did Vegas making it all the way to the final in their first season ever, which is bullshit, but they couldn’t even finish the job and gave the previously Cup-less Capitals one in the process.
Ignoring the fact that watching Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom finally climb the mountain was tremendous to watch purely as a hockey fan who appreciates their greatness, it also meant another Cup going to a team in the division that wasn’t the Flyers.
Firing Gerard Gallant only to hire Peter DeBoer
So this sucks for two reasons: 1) because DeBoer sucks and 2) because Gallant is a tremendous coach who has now been fired for terrible reasons twice, and will almost assuredly end up in the Metropolitan Division (cough, Devils) and coach a sorry team above it’s water and screw over the Flyers in the process.
You know what the Sabres would do to be able to have the luxury of firing a coach with a .601 points percentage? Heck, what they’d do for a coach with a .401 points percentage?
Taking Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in the expansion draft
After losing PEB to Vegas in the expansion draft the Flyers ranked 29th and 26th in penalty kill the following two seasons after being 21st, 20th, and 27th with him in town.
Had the Golden Knights not picked PEB maybe the Flyers’ penalty kill would have been slightly better in the two years since he left before they ultimately fixed things this past season (11th).
Stretching for this one? Sure, but the team has only been around for three years it’s hard to find a laundry list of things to rip on.
Got a reason why you hate the Golden Knights on ice? Tell ‘em you mad by utilizing the comments section below.