By Matt Savage
I have been a San Jose Sharks and NHL fan since 1992 and a season ticket holder through many tough years of being so close in San Jose. I went to the ’94 playoffs when the upstart Sharks beat the Detroit Red Wings as an 8-seed and my love for hockey was cemented. The Sharks have had too many winning years to count but never captured the Stanley Cup. I went to so many playoff games and all the Sharks Stanley Cup Finals games except for one in 2016 and I was crushed losing to the Penguins in Game 6.
I met my wife Maryann in 2002 at Binion’s Horseshoe downtown Las Vegas when I was director of the World Series of Poker and moved to Las Vegas in 2004.
While I love living in Las Vegas, the thing I missed more than anything was my San Jose friends and family along with the San Jose Sharks. When it was announced that Vegas was getting a team I was one of the first in line for season tickets (Section 6 Row K). I went to the name unveiling in the plaza, the draft, and awards, Opening Knight, and every game when I wasn’t traveling including all home playoff games but two. I also attended games in LA, San Jose, and even went to Washington for the finals.
My family, wife, daughter, and Vegas-born son Marko gave up the Sharks right away and are full-time Knights fans and when the Knights are on the road we watch every game and go to watch parties.
The Golden Knights were instrumental in the healing process of the city I call home after the tragic shooting on October 1, 2017. It seems that one of every three cars in Vegas have a flag, sticker, or license plate of the Knights. I truly believe that the team has made Vegas a community more so than ever before.
In the season and a half that the Knights have been in action, I have developed a great relationship with the team and they have shown great loyalty to the fans in return. I have worked with Golden Knights arena host Mark Shunock on projects with the World Poker Tour, met Chance with and without the mask, and work with the Golden Knights Foundation raising money for great causes.
I have worn a Knights jersey with a Sharks undershirt to every Knights game except for Sharks games where I do the opposite until I get Knighted in the Fortress.
So you see, this will be a fun knight for me but also bittersweet and in the end, I need to go All-in on the Golden Knights.
What’s your story?