The Vegas Golden Knights have set the gold standard by which all future expansion teams will be judged. That is unfortunate for those organizations as it will be impossible to compare to.
In the world in which we live, we are always seeking the one magic answer that explains everything. That seldom happens other than in our own minds (others politely disagree). More often, it is the sum of events that leads us closer to the truth than one single explanation.
Vegas ended up having the ‘perfect storm’ of events that lead to them being the Western Conference champions and playing for the Stanley Cup.
Vegas was supposed to be the worst team in the NHL and instead was the second-best. It started with more favorable rules in assembling their team in the expansion draft, in which they were nearly perfect in execution. They chose players that were mostly only one year away from being productive NHL players and for whatever reason came together as a group of misfits. GM George McPhee seemingly found all the right pieces and George Gallant made it all work from Game 1 of the season.
But in a town where encores are the norm, what can the Golden Knights possibly do to top what they just accomplished?