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The Incredible Success of the Las Vegas Golden Knights

One of the most successful start-ups in history, and it's not even close!

I have always felt rather strongly that when you assemble a group of dedicated professionals and create synergy, almost anything is possible.  The Las Vegas Golden Knights are an incredible example of this.

For those not familiar, the Golden Knights are an expansion (new) team that is completing their first season in the National Hockey League, and have just qualified for the finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.   Win or lose, this has been one of most impressive sports stories of all time.  I can see the movie now, perhaps they will call it "Longshot." 

"Constructed as Frankenstein's monster of unwanted parts from the rest of the league, a new club is usually very bad indeed. In a franchise's first season, merely being "competitive" - code for losing but keeping things close most nights - is an admirable goal." (Sportsnet)

The tremendous success of the Golden Knights inaugural season in an established professional league is almost beyond belief.  In fact, this feat transcends beyond sport. 

Eleven months ago, Las Vegas did not even have any players under contract.  In June, George McPhee, their new General Manager, was given the opportunity to draft 30 players in an expansion draft. The players that were available were left "unprotected" by their current professional team. Unprotected players were considered expendable because they were underachieving due to being too old, too expensive, injury prone, and/or not developing properly. The other unique fact about Las Vegas' successful season is the fact that in a way it was a rally call from the horrific mass shooting at a Vegas music concert on October 1, 2017. The Las Vegas Knights played their first game just 9 days after this tragedy. Responding to the tragedy and uniting the city has added strength to the team's mission.

Towards the end of the regular season, I found myself paying more and more attention to the Knight's continued success.  Like many of you, I love the Cinderella story, but I also am a student of organizational dynamics, and more specifically, how to use limited resources in order to maximize results.


Every company, especially newer ones, has a great deal to learn from the architecture of this recently constructed winning franchise.

Chris Grieve

Head of School

The Incredible Success of the Las Vegas Golden Knights
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