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Stone eager to start Cup defense: 'I hope people write us off'

Ethan Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Vegas Golden Knights are channeling the same mentality as last year as the team looks to defend its Stanley Cup triumph.

"You look at the players we have, it's pretty ironic that people were writing us off," Golden Knights captain Mark Stone told Las Vegas Sun's Danny Webster. "I almost hope the same thing this year. I hope people write us off. I hope it gives us motivation.

"We want to have that same chip on our shoulder. A lot of people say we can't do it again. We have to use that as fuel to try and get back to where we want to be."

After missing the playoffs in 2022, Vegas stormed its way to the team's first-ever Stanley Cup this spring. The Golden Knights demolished the Florida Panthers in five games to win the Cup and never faced elimination en route to the finals.

"Everyone loves their preseason picks," star forward Jack Eichel said. "Were we anyone's preseason picks last year? No.

"You go out there and prove yourself on the ice every night, and the ultimate goal of our season is a long, long way away, and I think we learned that last year."

Head coach Bruce Cassidy enters his second season behind the bench in Vegas with the task of replicating last year's immense success.

"We're here to win the Cup," Cassidy said. "So are 31 other teams. We feel like we're returning a lot of players that give us that opportunity. We're in that age frame right now where it's not just this year, but next year. All those things bode well for us."

The Golden Knights commence their preseason schedule Sunday against the San Jose Sharks and open their regular season on Oct. 10 against the Seattle Kraken.

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