Prior to Friday's game against Detroit, the Golden Knights unveiled a Gila monster named "Chance" as their new mascot. For those unfamiliar with these creatures, "the venomous Gila monster is the largest lizard native to the United States," according to National Geographic.
Vegas, however, has given "Chance" a backstory that belies its poisonous nature.
Most Gila Monsters live in seclusion their whole lives and have little interaction with the outside world. However, when Chance learned that major professional hockey was coming to Las Vegas he became energized.
Once (he found the rink), he learned how welcoming the hockey community is. Despite being shy and not knowing anyone at the rink, he was invited to come onto the ice and skate. Like many newcomers to the sport, he fell in love with hockey and the Golden Knights.
That's fun for the kids, but to their credit, the Golden Knights made a point of making sure "Chance" represents "the inclusive culture of hockey" where "everyone is welcome." It's with that in mind that he will interact with fans at games, and also be seen at local hospitals, charitable initiatives, youth hockey events, and other community activities.
The NHL has enacted a "Hockey Is For Everyone" initiative in recent years, and brought forth a Declaration Of Principles on top of that. The addition of Vegas to the mix has been a hit to date, and the introduction of the new mascot symbolizes good things off the ice as well.