After years of being a Rutgers Scarlet Knight, and another several of watching my Blu-ray of Shanghai Knights, the 2003 tour de force with Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan, it only stands to reason that my next step is to cover the NHL’s 31st franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights.
The last thing I ever want to do as a journalist is make any story about me, so let this stand as the first and last time I do that for Knights On Ice.
My name is Dalton Mack. I was born in New York City, raised in New Jersey, and am currently living in Texas. I’m in the midst of a Ph.D. program in counseling psychology with a focus on sports psychology, working as the sports psych consultant for the University of North Texas softball team.
From 2014-16, however, I worked as a writer for MLB.com/Sports on Earth and USA Today Sports Weekly, contributing a weekly sabermetrics column for the latter. Given that, I hope to give the analytics crowd a voice on this page and in the process be told in the comments section that I should pipe down because I never played the game (true, save for one roller season at Rutgers as a goalie).
Let’s face it, as a Tampa Bay Rays fan, I’ve got a soft spot for expansion teams. However, unlike the Rays, I believe the Knights will succeed in Las Vegas. The Entertainment Capital of the World has languished without a top-tier sports franchise for too long, and we’ve seen quite recently that a non-traditional market like Nashville can embrace and lift up a hockey franchise. I was on Broadway for Game 6, and let me tell you, it was insane. This isn’t going to happen overnight, but with the way the expansion draft and UFA rules are set up, it appears that Vegas is not going to ice a total bottom-feeder, which should only help matters. Plus, if they do in fact get three-time Stanley Cup champion Marc-Andre Fleury from the Penguins, they will be receiving a marquee name, a proven locker-room leader, and one of the true good guys in the game.
If I have one selfish goal for this team, more than growing and sustaining a rabid fanbase, it would be having one of their sharp-shooting forwards nicknamed “The Slot Machine.” Reid “Sir” Duke and Tomáš “Take A” Hyka are spoken for--could it be Vadim Shipachyov? Stay tuned for this and more great(?) content from myself and the rest of the Knights On Ice team this year.