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The Chinese knockoff product Kings takes on the Kings

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Vegas Golden Knights
Oh yeah they also have this trash heap on Vegas
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

A long while ago, the NHL announced they were adding a team. This went against all the thinking that the league was looking watered down and many markets weren’t fully supporting teams that already existed as it was. Despite the ups and downs of the sunbelt expansion of the 90s, Las Vegas got a team.

It is a franchise that is more of the half of Las Vegas that is the overly janky vibe of the Senor Frogs/Margaritavilles rather than the overly bougie crap that takes up the other half. The team proceeded by trying to go with “Knights” as a team name before realizing they would probably get sued so they made the name dumber. They still may be getting sued. Then the Golden Knights added horrendous jerseys that takes the blandness of the Kings’ black and whites, makes it blander, and added a splash of Ottawa Senators.

The Los Angeles Kings gave them Brayden McNabb. Remember him? He essentially got knocked off the team by Derek Forbort.

The Vegas Not-Kings-It’s-Knights-Make-That-Golden-Knights have been led by Billy Karlsson, a castoff from the Anaheim Ducks, who was later a fourth line center for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Two ex-Florida Panthers who I have never heard of also did things with the Not Las Pee Knights apparently. John Marchandassault and Smith O’Reilly? Honestly, who fucking cares. Colin Miller is also on this team, which is much more painful.

However, the Vegas Golden Knights have a good coach, with Gerard Gallant Goofus. He too is a Florida man. He was fired 21 games after leading the Panthers to first place in the division. Florida has clearly made some questionable decisions over the last few years. Good luck next year though, Sir Gallanthad.

There’s also that whole bit of marketing and branding with a tragedy that is more of a morally gray area than any of us would probably like to talk about, so we won’t.

Meanwhile, the Kings have been up and down and up again this season, which is pretty much par for the Kings. This time around though they made the playoffs. The offense under John Stevens has been more creative and risky, at the expense of the structured possession game of the old Kings. Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown have been having career years at the ages of 30 and 33 respectively.

They do have some concerning injuries with Jake Muzzin and Forbort hurt. The team still never really figured out their third line. The consistency has been very Kings like this season. But enough about hockey.

Las Vegas is a city I fucking hate yet go to fairly regularly for whatever reason. I do love it for the first twelve hours I am there, mostly because I can walk around with booze open as a convenience, but then immediately regret being there at all. It’s a city that’s 100% based around on being a tourist hell hole of the worst people on earth who are cutting loose to be even worse than they are in their regular lives. I don’t know how locals do it.

Los Angeles has been slammed for not having its own “culture” despite being a conglomerate of individual cultures from all over that makes L.A. unique in its own way with the diversity. Las Vegas has a conglomerate of corporate cultures that makes you feel like you are trapped in a never ending string of pop-up ads. It’s also a city whose mass transit is derived from The Simpsons.

There’s no beach. There’s wave machines full of Chad-Bro-Dudes. The entertainment is techno and Fat Joe. Every corner in L.A. has a Starbucks? Every corner in Las Vegas has a fucking mall that also has a Starbucks in it.

The days of Vegas having free parking, cheap food, and handouts for liquor are over. It’s a city that’s become a shell packed with sterile branding like a humanoid looking android whose sole purpose for existence is to make you spend 40 dollars for a bottle of Fiji water. I’m not just raging because some member of a crappy “Irish tribute” (?) band punched me at the New York, New York hotel.

The Knights existence is the same damn shilling. “Come on out and spend your money on your crappy team here instead, where you can also drop five hundred bucks on a meal at the Hell’s Kitchen themed restaurant where a video of Gordon Ramsey tells you to fuck off.”

Despite the corporate blandness, it’s also a franchise that is more or less the Arizona Coyotes, in that the team is forgettable and you wonder why it’s there to begin with even though you play against them several times a year. Obviously the Coyotes aren’t cool at all, but the Knights try way too hard to be cool and it comes off even worse. Remember that fucking twitter guy? Tap dancing Christ almighty, that was like the Jeff Dunham of team accounts. And whereas Arizona had one dumb-shit “leader” on their team, the Knights have two with the satanic cult version Casper the Ghost lookin’ David Perron and Sizzler buffet resident James Neal.

On the plus side, public intoxication is pretty much encouraged in Las Vegas. Though if you can’t manage being publicly drunk in Los Angeles, you gotta get your shit together.

Kings in 5.