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Stanley Cup Playoffs

All Golden Knights are Misfits; Vegas Land of Second Chances & Opportunity



Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore (27) celebrates with goaltender Adin Hill (33) after Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final against the Florida Panthers, Saturday, June 3, 2023

“You have to be original. But if they’re giving it, I’d take it,” said Vegas Golden Knights goalie Adin Hill through a victorious laugh when Vegas Hockey Now asked if the Stanley Cup win made him a Misfit, too.

Do you have to be original? But the organization is still built upon that very foundation of giving players a second chance, sometimes a third. Up and down the Golden Knights roster are players who didn’t fit elsewhere.

As coach Bruce Cassidy noted when he explained why he started five Misfits in Game 5.

“I thought it would be a good way to get the guys’ attention and reward the originals, the guys who laid the foundation for this hockey team,” Cassidy said.

Perhaps no team since the 1970s Oakland Raiders has been a more successful group of leftovers, discards, unwanteds, castoffs, and just those needing a second chance. It’s time for the Golden Knights to embrace their identity and revel in the fact that the desert sun seems to cleanse the past and grant new opportunities.

It’s time to embrace and expand the “Misfits.”

Sure, make them “Originals” and “Next Generation” or whatever name you come up with, but there isn’t a better word to describe the collection of players who found their stride in Vegas.

Whether they like it or not, the Golden Knights are a misfit organization with misfit fans and is still a team full of misfits. The number of players who didn’t work elsewhere but work here is high. It’s not exactly Ellis Island (the one in New York, not the one on Koval), but the Golden Knights are the closest thing to a home for wayward hockey players that exists in the NHL.

It’s the culture here, and it’s creating success. Embrace it.

Next Misfits?

*Jack Eichel was embattled and at war with the Buffalo Sabres.

*Adin Hill is with his third team in three years and has never been a No. 1 goalie.

*Michael Amadio was waived by the LA Kings. Traded to Ottawa. Placed on the Taxi Squad. Signed by Toronto, waived, and claimed by the VGK.

*Brett Howden. The Golden Knights acquired him in 2021 and became his third team in three seasons.

*Zach Whitecloud. Undrafted free agent.

*Nicolas Roy was acquired from Carolina. He was demoted to the AHL 17 times in his three-year tenure with the Golden Knights.

*Chandler Stephenson was traded by the Washington Capitals for nothing more than a fifth-round pick.

Golden Knights Culture

Amadio perhaps put the best words to the organization’s culture and why so many players succeed here.

“In a sense, yeah (I feel like a Misfit). I kind of bounced around there for a little bit, and then this team gave me confidence again, and I was able to find my game,” Amadio said. “It’s pretty special to be a part of all this.”

Owner Bill Foley also compared this year’s locker room to that original and cited it as a reason for success.

“This year, we got our locker room squared away. It’s just perfect,” Foley said. “These guys are all for one and one for all. It’s fantastic.”

So, wrap your arms around it. The Vegas Golden Knights’ culture and identity built by those originals is even stronger now, a day after winning the Stanley Cup. Winning doesn’t remove a Misfit label; it only strengthens it. The Golden Knights are Stanley Cup champions. No matter the future, the 2023 Golden Knights will walk together forever as they stand on the shoulders of the Misfits who came before them.

And they, too, are Misfits.

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