The Vegas Golden Knights' inaugural season has been an incredible one for a number of reasons, most notably because of just how impressive they've been in the standings.
But it has also been amazing to watch the team become an integral and beloved part of the Vegas community, especially in the wake of the Oct. 1 shooting that claimed the lives of 58 victims.
On Saturday night, before the Knights' final home game of the regular season, there was a surprise ceremony at T-Mobile Arena. After a short video played, the names of all 58 victims were projected onto the ice. Those same names were displayed on a banner, along with 58 stars and the words "Vegas Strong," and raised to the rafters at the arena.
The team announced that it was retiring the No. 58 to honor the victims, meaning that no Golden Knights player will ever wear that number.
The family of victim Neysa Tonks was invited to join Golden Knights owner Bill Foley and general manager George McPhee on the ice for the ceremony, representing the families and loved ones who were affected by the tragedy.
"It just really shows the community how dedicated we are and how involved the team is in the community," said Foley regarding the team's role in the "Vegas Strong" movement, via NHL.com. "The 58 stars are going to be there forever. You can see there were people crying in the stands, a few tears in my eyes as that banner got raised.
"It makes me feel great that our team is involved and is helping out in any way it can. It really does. Because our fans are so dedicated to this team, they're so into this team. And we want to give back to them. That was our goal, to make hockey in the desert a reality and it is. We've been fortunate that our team has been playing great. The guys have been playing well together but the fans have been behind us the whole way."
It was a very cool gesture by the Knights to close out an inaugural season that has been about more than just hockey for a lot of people in the Vegas community.