Vegas Golden Knights Are Going to Suck in 2017-18 and Here’s Why

The Vegas Golden Knights had a glitzy expansion draft on Wednesday.

That may be as good as it gets for the newest NHL franchise in the desert.

The recent history of NHL expansion shows us that the first season in the league is always brutal for new franchises. Here’s a look at what the Golden Knights can expect based on past newbies' performances.

1991: San Jose Sharks

The Sharks finished rock bottom of the old Smythe Division in 1991-92, with 17 wins, 58 losses and five ties. Goaltender Jeff Hackett won team MVP with a 3.84 goals against average. This was not good.

1992: Ottawa Senators

The 1992 Senators were historically sucky. Though they won their first game after re-entering the league, they managed only nine more wins, along with 70 defeats and four ties. The 1992-93 Senators also had one of the worst records on the road of all time, winning one and losing the other 41. And yet the Ottawa Civic Centre was still filled out 99.8 percent of the time.

1992: Tampa Bay Lightning

Oddly the 1992-93 Lightning side was actually not too terrible. It finished bottom of a stacked Norris Division containing the Blackhawks, Maple Leafs and Red Wings but they did win 23 games along the way. Brian Bradley, picked from the Maple Leafs in the expansion draft, led them in scoring with 42 goals and 86 points.

1993: Florida Panthers

Surprise! The 1993-94 Panthers were actually OK. Not great—the Panthers finished fifth of seven teams in the Atlantic Division.

But Scott Mellanby’s 30 goals shot them to a 33-34-17 record. Not the worst effort of all time by any means.

1993: Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

On the West Coast, too, the Mighty Ducks were proving expansion franchises don’t always have to blow completely. Thirty-three wins were enough to secure fourth in the Pacific Division, in front of the L.A. Kings and once mighty Edmonton Oilers.

1998: Nashville Predators

Initial difficulties can lead to great things down the line. The 1998-99 Nashville Predators went 28-47-7 to finish last in the Central Division. In 2017, the Predators made it to within two games of the Stanley Cup.

1999: Atlanta Thrashers

Hockey in Atlanta was always a tough sell and a terrible first season for the Thrashers didn't help the pitch. They won only 14 games en route to last place in the Southeast Division.

2000: Columbus Blue Jackets

Not actually that cataclysmic. The Blue Jackets entered the brutal Central Division and won 28 games en route to last place. Seventeen years later, the Blue Jackets are pretty good.

2000: Minnesota Wild

Not disastrous. The 2000-01 Wild were dumped into a Northwest Division dominated by Joe Sakic’s all-time-great Colorado Avalanche team, and responded with 25 wins.

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