Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Defining The Las Vegas Hockey Fan

08/03/2016 at 4:06pm EDT

from Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,

Who is the Las Vegas hockey fan?

“Hopefully, we can help mold that,” said Murray Craven, the former NHL player and adviser to team owner Bill Foley. “It’s almost a direct challenge to the local fan base. Who are you? Our best salesman for the casual fan who might not know the game is going to be that person sitting next to them or all around them that does.

“All of sudden, you catch the fever and start asking questions and that’s how you learn as a fan. Don’t be afraid if you don’t know much about the game. We will have those people. Come and be entertained, because we will definitely entertain you. When you have fans that learn the game and become passionate about it, that’s how you develop a lifelong love for it.”

Hockey fans are among the most passionate and knowledgeable in sports. They know the game’s history, its nuances, its creative nature. But this isn’t Detroit or Chicago or Philadelphia — all cities Craven played in during his 18-year career — and there is no telling the level of understanding many Las Vegas fans will own at the outset.

There will be transplants, those season-ticket holders who grew up on the game elsewhere and will now shift their loyalties to the local side. There will also be some who don’t know the difference between a blue line and a crease.

Fact: Las Vegas needs all of them to build a sustainable franchise following the initial wave of elation for merely having a team. The witness test for fan support isn’t Opening Night in 2017. It’s Opening Night in 2020.

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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