The celebrations will be waiting in Las Vegas

Sport 10 October, 2017

Photo: Christian Petersen / Getty Images / Agence France-Presse
We will play hockey, but the celebrations will have to wait.

This was to be an evening of celebrations that many never believed live. But the carnage is still too fresh in the memories, the horror is still too real.


The first professional team of the city’s key will play the first game in Las Vegas Tuesday, a few steps from the place where a shooter has opened fire, resulting in 58 deaths. Supporters should still complete the T-Mobile Arena and watch the Golden Knights Vegas to face the Coyotes of Arizona in their opener.


We will play hockey, but the celebrations will have to wait.


“This awful event has certainly thrown a cold shower on our opening night, has recognised the owner of the Golden Knights, Bill Foley. We will be very respectful and pay homage to the first responders and victims. It’s part of our mandate. We are the team to Las Vegas and it will be the first event since the tragedy. “


Las Vegas is still gloomy, even if tourists have continued the eternal feast on the ” Strip “. Several victims are still in hospital, some in critical condition, and cleaning up the site of the shooting continues.


A hockey game is not going to give back the smile to all the world from one day to the next day. But there will be prayers for the victims and the wounded, for those who have tried to save them. There will also be tears, because the pain is still vivid.


And then there will be hockey at the highest level, while Las Vegas is now part of the club of cities with a team in a sports league major for the first time.


“We can make our celebrations during our second game, on Friday, mentioned Foley. We all deferred, preferring to concentrate on the assistance to victims. “


Predictions foiled


Foley, who made his fortune in title insurance, has paid for the development costs of U.S. $ 500 million to the NHL to provide a team to its city of adoption. In a city where the probabilities are important, it defied predictions by getting a team and investing in an arena on the Strip that was opened last year.


Some 13 500 people have purchased subscriptions of the season. Hockey fans across North America are expected in the course of the season to cheer on their favorite team and enjoy this playground for adults.


After two meetings, the Golden Knights have a record of 2-0. They will start their schedule at home in difficult conditions, but the players are eager to offer a distraction to a city in mourning.


“My prayers go out to all those affected, said James Neal, who scored the winning goal in each of the two victories of the Golden Knights. We want to give them a chance to smile, to help the city and the community to recover from the tragedy. “


Neal had gone to the festival “Route 91 Harvest” on Friday night, and he had to return there the evening of the shooting. It has, however, changed his plans when he received a text message informing him that he was going to have to participate in a training the next morning. Some of his friends, however, were present.


He has accompanied some of his team-mates during a visit with first responders. Neal and his team also visited the victim support centre to comfort the victims and families affected.


These are small gestures, yes. But this is a team for which it is important to integrate into the community.


“Many people are still searching for relatives or friends, said Foley about the visits. But hockey players are good people, and they wanted sincerely to go there. “


Eventually, the shock and horror ebb, and the hockey will not be again that the game of hockey. But for now, the opener of Tuesday will be a different from all the others.


“It will be difficult, acknowledged Foley, but we’re going to do a good job. “