Vegas Information
Karlsson, Eichel named Golden Knights alternate captains – Las Vegas Sun Newspaper
Karlsson, Eichel named Golden Knights alternate captains - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper

Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson (71) skates against the Dallas Stars during the first period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference Final at T-Mobile Arena Sunday, May 21, 2023, in Las Vegas.

The Golden Knights put the finishing touches on their leadership group by announcing centers William Karlsson and Jack Eichel will split duties as alternate captains this season.

Karlsson will wear the ‘A’ for Vegas home games, while Eichel will on the road. The centers join captain Mark Stone and first alternate Alex Pietrangelo in filling the void left after the Golden Knights traded Reilly Smith to Pittsburgh in the offseason.

“Great honor. Very happy,” Karlsson said. “We’ve got a lot of leaders on this team that it could’ve gone to. But I’m very honored.”

There were many worthy candidates in coach Bruce Cassidy’s mind to wear the other ‘A’ — including the other four remaining original Golden Knights from Year 1 with Jonathan Marchessault, William Carrier, Brayden McNabb and Shea Theodore.

Cassidy felt it was important to keep what was lost with Smith.

“Karly’s connection is obvious. He’s one of the original Knights. We didn’t want to lose that,” Cassidy said. “There’s a lot of guys that could go into that category, but we chose Will.”

While most teams carry one captain and two alternates, not only did Cassidy want to keep the original “Golden Misfit” mentality, but wanted to have someone who could help with the younger players. It seemed a given with Eichel as he wore the ‘A’ throughout the preseason.

It’s the first time the 26-year-old Eichel will wear a letter since he was captain of the Buffalo Sabres from 2018-21.

“It’s a huge honor when you get the opportunity to wear a letter,” Eichel said. “For me, it doesn’t really change much. Just try to be myself every day coming to the rink. It’s pretty easy to be yourself in this locker room, and we’ve got a lot of leaders in here.”

Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (9) skates against the Arizona Coyotes during the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, in Las Vegas.

Eichel said he was happiest for Karlsson because of how beloved he is in the organization and community.

Smith was an alternate captain for his entire six-year tenure with the Golden Knights. He was the first person to receive the Stanley Cup from Stone after the Golden Knights captured their first championship in June.

Vegas begins its title defense Tuesday against the Seattle Kraken (7:30 p.m., ESPN).

“I think it’s still an honor to wear a letter on your sweater no matter what,” Cassidy said. “For those two guys, if we hadn’t chose them, I don’t think it would’ve changed anything.”

Danny Webster can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Danny on Twitter at twitter.com/DannyWebster21.

This content was originally published here.