The Vegas Golden Knights have already exceeded the loftiest expectations for fans of an NHL expansion team. They not only advanced to the NHL playoffs, but they swept the LA Kings in the first round. As far as expansion teams go, the Vegas Knights have already secured a seat at the discussion table for greatest first year teams of all time. Today, we take a look at the all time great expansion teams in professional sports history.
Comparing Vegas Knights to Expansion Teams From Other Sports
Vegas blows away expansion NHL teams in terms of success out of the gate. The Florida Panthers were a competitive team, but they were never really a threat to make a run at the Stanly Cup Championship. So, to make the case that the Vegas Knights are the best expansion team in history, we should compare them to the best first year franchise teams in other sports.
Vegas Golden Knights Versus the Best MLB First Year Teams
The Los Angeles Angels were the only team to finish the season with more than 70 wins. The Golden Knights had a +.7 points differential during the regular season. The LA Angels were a -.3. When you consider that in baseball more total runs are scored per game, this stat is even greater. So, by far they have easily beat the LA Angels as far as the best NHL first year team versus the NFL.
Lets now give a quick rundown against the other professional sports:
In the NBA the 1967 Chicago Bulls are rated at the top of the list for most successful NBA expansion teams. Nobody has been able to surpass their 33 win season as a first year team. The were still well below a.500 team and never in any serious discussions for being a being a Championship caliber team.
What was the Vegas Golden Knights record during the regular season? They went 51-24 with 7 OTL (overtime losses). Only the Tampa Bay Lightning (54), The Nashville Predators (53), and the Winnipeg Jets (52) had more victories during the regular season. Vegas was in uncharted waters, and setting historic records for expansion teams all throughout the season.
In the NFL, no team has won more than 7 games during their inaugural season. The Carolina Panthers went 7-9 in 1995. So, once again, there isn't a team in football that can even hold a candle to the performance of the Vegas Knights.
Vegas Golden Knights are The Greatest Expansion Team in Sports History – Hands Down
In Conclusion, the Vegas Golden Knights run away with "Greatest Expansion Team in Sports History Award." The Golden Knights were a 200-1 longshot to win the Stanley Cup (Vegas odds) at the beginning of the season. Now, they are 4-1 odds to bring home the cup.
If the Vegas Golden Knights never win another game during the rest of the playoffs, they still can stake claim as being the greatest expansion team in sports history.
It's very ironic that a "Vegas" sports team would be able to defy such long odds to perform so well. If you want to win over a fan base, 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 here on out is just icing on the cake. The Vegas Golden Knights are here to stay and their growing fan base could not be any more excited!