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Golden Knights ousted from team hotel after sudden closing

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Nothing should come as a shock anymore in a world revolved around COVID-19.

Then you hear the Vegas Golden Knights had to up and leave their hotel because it filed for bankruptcy hours before their game. Clearly, we haven’t heard it all.

Yes, you read that right. The Golden Knights had to abruptly change lodging residences on Friday when the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose filed for bankruptcy and closed its doors.

After completing their pregame meal, the Golden Knights were told to pack their things just hours before puck drop in their game against the San Jose Sharks.

“It was a surreal experience,” said Golden Knights coach Pete DeBoer. “Hopefully this is the end of the COVID year, but it was almost the topping on the cake for what the last year has been for everybody in the world. Just another thing thrown at you, another thing to deal with.”

While the story sounds hilarious in theory, it’s an unfortunate ongoing problem in the San Jose area. The Fairmont is one of many hotels to have closed its doors. According to the San Jose Mercury News, 20 notices of default loan payment were sent to hotels in January alone.

What’s problematic is the Fairmont is the hotel designated for visiting teams when they face the Sharks in San Jose. The Fairmont is expected to re-open in two to three months. For the time being, visiting teams will have to find new short-term residency.

“Everything was seamless. It was like nothing really even happened,” said defenseman Nick Holden. “Very unfortunate, obviously, for the employees at the Fairmont. Kind of found out the same way we did.”

The Golden Knights play the second game of a back-to-back against the Sharks at 7:30 p.m. They will try to sweep the two-game set after winning 5-4 in overtime on Friday.

This is certainly a hotel story for the birds.

“Not that I’m putting it in the same breath as dealing with COVID, but it was just one of those things we got thrown at us, we dealt with it and found a way to get off to a good start,” DeBoer said. “So good resiliency by our group.”

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Danny Webster has covered the Vegas Golden Knights since their inaugural season. A graduate from the Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at UNLV, Danny has written about the Golden Knights for NHL.com and SB Nation. He is now the lead reporter covering this young franchise for Vegas Hockey Now. Follow him on Twitter @DannyWebster21.

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