Vegas Golden Knights’ Cody Eakin (21), Jonathan Marchessault (81) and Deryk Engelland (5) defend in front of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) during Game 2 in the Western Conference Finals against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. (Trevor Hagan/The Canadian Press)

Fleury tops Vegas Golden Knights merchandise flying off shelves

French Canadian goalie’s jersey leading the way in sales

The Vegas Golden Knights are proving to be as popular at the merchandise table as they are in Sin City.

The NHL expansion team has been a hot ticket all season at T-Mobile Arena and that has continued during the Golden Knights’ deep playoff run.

With goalie Marc-Andre Fleury’s jersey leading the way in sales, Golden Knights gear is also flying off the shelves.

Specific numbers weren’t immediately available but Nirva Milord, the NHL’s senior director of corporate communications, said that the team’s overall North American sales have been very strong.

“The Vegas Golden Knights are in the top five in merch sales all season,” she said Tuesday in an email. ”Marc-Andre Fleury is tops among players in playoffs merch sales.”

READ MORE: Stanley Cup playoff conference-finals predictions

Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup champion in Pittsburgh, was not protected by the Penguins in last year’s expansion draft. He has helped anchor the Golden Knights and gave the first-year squad some immediate star power.

The Vegas success story reads like a Hollywood script.

A random mix of journeymen, up-and-comers and castoffs quickly meshed as a team, delivered results on the ice, and provided one of the top storylines of the season.

Few hockey observers predicted that Vegas would roll through the campaign and topple the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks in the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Golden Knights will host the Jets in Game 3 of the Western Conference final on Wednesday after splitting the first two games of the best-of-seven series in Winnipeg.

Along the way, cash registers have been ringing with sales of hats, hoodies, sweatshirts, T-shirts and jerseys adorned with the knight helmet symbol and the team’s steel grey, black, gold and red colours.

Marvin Ryder, a marketing professor at McMaster University, feels there are several reasons for the strong merchandise sales, including the lack of competition from other top sport leagues in Las Vegas and the fact hockey fans and youngsters will flock to anything new when it comes to gear.

But where the franchise really delivered, Ryder said, was with the creation of a modern, powerful logo coupled with an attractive colour scheme.

“Whatever graphic identity team they hired, they knocked it right out of the park,” Ryder said from Hamilton.

It helps to have a winning hockey team too.

“Ultimately it’s how the fans embrace it,” Ryder said. “In this case, I’m going to say it’s more about (being) lucky. You had all the pieces but they got them right the very first day. That’s the unusual part of the story. Normally it takes longer for the teams to find that combination of performance and the right-looking logo that people are proud to wear.

“They got it right from Day 1.”

Last month, the NHL reported that Fleury was fourth in jersey sales behind Toronto’s Auston Matthews, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid.

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Slaughterhouse in Salmon Arm site of another protest by activists

Incident at meat processing plant under investigation by Salmon Arm RCMP

Avalanche control scheduled today on Highway 1 east and west of Revelstoke

Avalanche control work is scheduled today for two different locations along Highway… Continue reading

Single-bridge option chosen to replace RW Bruhn Bridge

Five-lane span selected over plan with second bridge at Main Street

UPDATED: Absolute discharge for mischief charge against Sagmoen

Trial starts at 9:30 a.m. in Vernon Law Courts

Snowfall warning issued for Highway 1 from east of Sicamous to Golden

Environment Canada says to expect 15-30 cm of snow by Thursday evening

Your morning news in 90: Dec. 13, 2018

Tune in for 90 seconds to get the top headlines for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

Okanagan Symphony presents Yuletide Tales

Christmas concert features three classic Christmas stories

Woman forcibly confined, sexually assaulted between Creston and Cranbrook

The suspect forced the woman into her vehicle before driving along Highway 3

Giving the gift of nature

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

‘I thought I was dead as soon as I saw the gun’

Keremeos gas station attendant tells story about man with gun coming to store

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit, beginning Thursday, which will center on the Brexit negotiations.

Most Read