No, goaltender Calvin Pickard did not board the bus in Las Vegas on Monday and spend 20 hours riding 1,100 miles for an event here on Tuesday as part of the Vegas Golden Knights Road Trip. He flew in. But he flew in from home in Winnipeg, which is about the same distance away that Las Vegas is. He took an hour flight to Minneapolis. Then he took a three-hour flight to Spokane, Washington. Then he took a 30-minute Uber ride to this resort town on the Idaho panhandle. All voluntarily. All to do media interviews and spend an hour and a half at a public skate and autograph session at Frontier Ice Arena, connecting with fans in a place that will be part of the Golden Knights TV territory. All with a smile on his face. "I've never done anything like this before," he said. That's the fun of it, and that's the challenge. You might think being a goaltender on an expansion team would be one of the worst jobs in the NHL, something to dread. Chances are, you're going to see lots of rubber. That will lead to long nights, and that will lead to a long season. But Pickard sees a, well, golden opportunity. He'll be part of a goaltending tandem with Marc-Andre Fleury, who won the Stanley Cup for the third time with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season and has a reputation as a great teammate. The Golden Knights should be better than past expansion teams thanks to more advantageous rules in the NHL Expansion Draft. And they are establishing the NHL in not just another new market. They're establishing it in an entertainment capital that has never had a major-league sports team before. Owner Bill Foley wants them to become the team of the western Rockies. "It's a new experience for all of us, every staff member, every player," Pickard said as staff members set up for the public skate. "If we go in with an open mind, it's going to be a lot of fun. We're playing in the NHL in Las Vegas, so I think a lot of people would take that. Everybody's going to be really excited for sure." Pickard has been excited from Day One. The morning of June 21, he was about to get on the bike at the gym when he got a text from his agent, Ritch Winter.
Pickard embracing challenge with Golden Knights
NHL.com | Aug 16