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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 the highest expectations for fans of an expansion NHL team. Not only did they qualify for the NHL playoffs, but they swept the Los Angeles Kings in the first round. As far as expansion teams go, the Vegas Knights have already earned a spot at the discussion table for the best freshman teams of all time. Today we take a look at the all-time great expansion teams in professional sports history.
Comparison of the Vegas Knights with expansion teams from other sports
Vegas wows NHL expansion teams in terms of early success. The Florida Panthers were a competitive team, but they were never much of a threat to make a run for the Stanly Cup championship. So, to prove that the Vegas Knights are the best expansion team in history, we’d have to compare them to the best freshman franchise teams in other sports.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. MLB’s Best Freshman Teams
The Los Angeles Angels were the only team to finish the season with over 70 wins. The Golden Knights had a +.7 point differential during the regular season. The LA Angels were a -.3. When you consider that in baseball more runs are scored per game, this stat is even greater. So by far, they easily beat the LA Angels when it comes to the best freshman team in the NHL against the NFL.
Now let’s give a quick overview of other professional sports:
In the NBA, the 1967 Chicago Bulls are ranked at the top of the list of the most successful NBA expansion teams. No one was able to top their 33-win season as a freshman team. They were still well below a 500 team and never had any serious talks about being a Championship caliber team.
What was the Vegas Golden Knights regular season record? They went 51-24 with 7 OTL (overtime losses). Only the Tampa Bay Lightning (54), Nashville Predators (53) and Winnipeg Jets (52) have had more regular season wins. Vegas was in uncharted waters and set all-time records for expansion teams throughout the season.
In the NFL, no team has won more than 7 games in its inaugural season. The Carolina Panthers went 7-9 in 1995. So again, no football team can even match the performance of the Vegas Knights.
The Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in sports history – Hands Down
In conclusion, the Vegas Golden Knights walk away with the “Best Expansion Team in Sports History Award.” The Golden Knights were a 200-1 longshot to win the Stanley Cup (Vegas odds) early in the season. Now they have odds of 4 to 1 to win the cup.
If the Vegas Golden Knights never win another game for the remainder of the playoffs, they can still claim to be the greatest expansion team in sports history.
It’s very ironic that a “Vegas” sports team is able to defy such long odds to perform so well. If you want to win a fanbase, all an expansion team has to do is perform well and provide hope for the future. In Vegas, the future is NOW! Whatever happens from now on is just icing on the cake. The Vegas Golden Knights are here to stay and their growing fanbase couldn’t be more excited!
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