Posts Tagged ‘Bill Foley’

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Wayne Gretzky sees a bright future for the Vegas Golden Knights.

In a Wednesday interview with “NHL Tonight,” the league’s all-time leading scorer spoke highly of hockey’s newest franchise, which will begin play this season.

“It’s wonderful,” Gretzky said. “It’s great for the sport, and it’s just going to grow and get bigger and better.”

Led by owner Bill Foley, general manager George McPhee, and coach Gerard Gallant, the Golden Knights expect to be an exciting addition for the NHL, featuring key expansion picks like James Neal, Jonathan Marchessault, and three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury.

That group will be expected to not only deliver a fun on-ice product, but to build up hockey in the community and with the Golden Knights’ budding fan base.

Gretzky can certainly relate, and it wasn’t by mistake his talk with “NHL Tonight” was held Wednesday, 29 years to the day he was shipped from Edmonton to Los Angeles, paving the way for hockey in the Sun Belt.

The Kings were the first entry into the Golden State in 1967 – alongside the now-defunct California Seals – but it was Gretzky’s acquisition that put hockey in the Hollywood spotlight.

“I think (for) my first exhibition game, we had 9,000 people in the stadium, and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, what have I gotten myself into?'” Gretzky said. “But thankfully, the whole organization understood that it was going to be a process. And we were all a big part of that.

“We weren’t just a hockey team. We had to do extra things. We had to get out into the community. We had to really put our foot behind youth hockey and really do extra work, and the players really enjoyed it. They really wanted to make hockey part of the culture of California.”

Through expansion and relocation, the NHL has since added five more franchises in the American Southwest, covering San Jose, Anaheim, Phoenix, Dallas, and now Las Vegas.

And while Gretzky hopes things go smoothly for the Golden Knights, games against his Oilers, where he serves as partner and vice chair, could be a different story.

“Now that I’m back in that division with Edmonton, I hope (the Golden Knights) don’t get too good,” Gretzky quipped. “I do pull for people who are good people, and it is a good organization.”

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The Vegas Golden Knights‘ nickname lives on.

The NHL expansion franchise has received official approval from the United States Patent and Trademark Office to continue to use its nickname for identification and competition purposes, according to Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

That same approval has not yet been granted for the logo, and that specific trademark request is suspended pending further appeal. The team will, however, continue to sell merchandise featuring the logo.

“We’re happy,” team owner Bill Foley said. “We got what we wanted. We’ve got ‘Golden Knights’ for hockey and we knew it would work out. We’re not worried about the (logo) issue. That will work itself out in time. But we’re not paying anyone anything.”

The nickname approval comes after an appeal filed in June following the denial of an application from Black Knight Sports and Entertainment – Foley’s company – because the Vegas Golden Knights trademark was deemed to too closely resemble that of The College of Saint Rose Golden Knights, based in Albany, N.Y.

The club received notification of the ruling on Aug. 4.

Carp adds Golden Knights team merchandise is protected under the league’s trademark banner, and there is indeed nothing preventing the team from using and selling merchandise branded with the team’s logo.

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Bill Foley is extending a welcoming hand to the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.

The owner of the NHL’s Golden Knights offered congratulations to Mark Davis and the Oakland Raiders after it was confirmed the team would be relocating to Las Vegas for the 2019 season.

More from Foley:

It truly is an exciting time to be from Las Vegas. There is only a select group of cities in North America that are home to both an NHL and an NFL franchise and Vegas is now one of them.

This alone should be a great source of pride for our community and our fans. Las Vegas has always been one of the most popular destination cities in the world and it is now emerging as a premier location for major league professional sports.

The Raiders are set to build a new stadium in Las Vegas, while the Golden Knights are set to take to the ice at T-Mobile Arena beginning next season.

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The NHL officially became a 31-team league Wednesday, with the Vegas Golden Knights making their final expansion payment. Bill Foley’s in business.

As general manager George McPhee looks to make his first official transaction, Foley, the team’s owner, has big plans for his team. His practice facility is being built, his scouts are doing work over in Europe, a uniform is on the way, and now he’s shifting his sights to broadcast deals.

“My goal is to make our team the team of the Rockies,” Foley told ESPN’s Arash Markazi. “We want to be the team that broadcasts in Boise, Reno, Salt Lake City, St. George, Utah, all through Montana and into Fresno, which is a shared territory, and San Francisco.

“It’s the Vegas Golden Knights, but we’re really going to be the Rocky Mountain Golden Knights,” he said. “We’re going to be everywhere.”

McPhee will be at the general managers meetings next week in Florida, and it’s only a matter of time before Vegas has its first player.

Excited, yet?

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Sin City wants its kids to play in the Windy City.

The Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL’s newest expansion team that will begin play next season, are in discussion with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves to partner as its minor-league affiliate, Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

The Wolves are currently the farm team of the St. Louis Blues, though Golden Knights owner Bill Foley has previously expressed that Vegas will look to share a minor-league affiliate before purchasing its own.

The Golden Knights hope to have their own AHL club in the west in the future, with possible homes including Reno, Nev., Salt Lake City, Utah, and Fresno, Calif.

Foley has previously stated that he hopes to have the Golden Knights’ affiliate finalized in January.

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Bill Foley’s team-naming headache might not be over just yet.

U.S. Army officials are reportedly looking into the Las Vegas NHL franchise’s use of “Golden Knights,” because that nickname belongs to the army’s parachute team.

“We’re reviewing the situation and figuring out what the way ahead would be,” army Marketing and Research Group spokeswoman Alison Bettencourt told Steve DeVane of the Fayetteville Observer, a publication based near Fort Bragg military base in North Carolina.

Foley, the billionaire West Point graduate who owns the expansion club, announced the Golden Knights’ team name and logo last Tuesday. He is apparently aware of the parachute team’s name, but that isn’t stopping the army from taking a closer look.

“We understand that one of the Las Vegas team owners has army connections, and will likely understand our interest in this announcement is meant to protect the proud history of the army’s Golden Knights and their vital role in telling the army story and connecting America with their army,” Bettencourt said.

Foley’s search for a name was held up by copyright hurdles and the NHL’s reluctance to condone references to gambling.

After the Golden Knights’ ill-fated unveiling last week, the owner told Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he originally wanted the army’s Golden Knights to parachute in on the ceremony, but it got “kind of complicated.”

Foley’s interest in using “Black Knights” dates back nearly two years, but that moniker was nixed because it belongs to army’s athletic program.

The ownership group also considered “Silver Knights” and “Desert Knights”before settling on the golden variation.

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Mark your calendars, ladies and gentleman, Las Vegas will soon have a team name.

The NHL’s 31st franchise – set to take the ice for the 2017-18 season – will unveil its name and logo Nov. 22, according to Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Commissioner Gary Bettman, owner Bill Foley, and general manager George McPhee will be on hand for the event, where new team merchandise will be available.

Foley has trademarked three names – the Golden Knights, the Silver Knights, and the Desert Knights – but has vowed to keep the winning name a secret until the unveiling.