Golden Knights Get Last Laugh in Gallant and Reaves’ Return

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On Thursday night, both Gerard Gallant and Ryan Reaves made their returns to the T-Mobile Arena for the first time since moving on from the Vegas Golden Knights organization.

Gallant, who was the first head coach in Golden Knights franchise history, was relieved of his duties midway through the 2019-20 season. Reaves, who was acquired by the Golden Knights during their inaugural season in 2017-18, was traded this offseason to the New York Rangers, a team who happened to hire Gallant as their head coach this summer.

Heading into Thursday night’s contest, the Rangers had been excellent during the 2021-22 season with a record of 22-8-4. Despite their great start to the year however, the Golden Knights defeated them by a final score of 5-1. For Gallant, it was an upsetting result in a game he had really been looking forward to.

“We played against a good team tonight,” Gallant said in his postgame press conference. “Obviously I would have liked to win tonight coming back to this building. I was happy with the first 25 minutes, I thought we played great. I was really happy with how the game was going, thought it was going to be a 3-2 game for somebody. It’s too bad it fell apart on us.”

Despite how things ended between the two parties, Gallant was the first coach in franchise history and had some great moments with the team, including leading them to a Stanley Cup Final in their opening season, one in which most had them pegged to finish at or near the bottom of the standings. Fittingly, he received a nice tribute during a TV timeout.

Reaves also received a tribute of his own, a very deserving one given the competitive level he brought to the ice each and every night in his 209 career games with the Golden Knights. He admitted postgame that he was emotional after seeing the video the organization made for him on display.

“I’ll be honest, it kind of got to me a little bit,” Reaves said. “I wasn’t expecting that. I was a little flustered for the rest of the game.”

After these two tributes, as well as the ones Paul Stastny and Nate Schmidt received earlier in the week, it is pretty easy to see why players enjoy playing in Vegas as much as they do. Not only is it a great city to live in, but the fans are both very passionate and supportive of their players. That is why despite being a relatively new team, the Golden Knights are seen by most as having one of the best fan bases in the entire NHL.

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