ARIZONA COYOTES

How do the Vegas Golden Knights compare to Arizona expansion teams?

May 20, 2018, 4:15 PM | Updated: 4:35 pm
The Vegas Golden Knights mob goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) after defeating the Winnipeg Jets du...
The Vegas Golden Knights mob goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) after defeating the Winnipeg Jets during NHL Western Conference Finals, game 5, in Winnipeg, Sunday, May 20, 2018. (Trevor Hagan/The Canadian Press via AP)
(Trevor Hagan/The Canadian Press via AP)

Throughout the season, the Vegas Golden Knights have shown they’re not a typical expansion team.

Expansion teams don’t go 51-24-7.

Expansion teams don’t finish the season in the top five of goals scored.

Expansion teams don’t play for the Stanley Cup.

On Sunday, the Golden Knights proved they’re not a typical expansion team, defeating the Winnipeg Jets and winning the Western Conference Final.

If they can continue their Cinderella season and win the Stanley Cup, the Golden Knights will become the first team to ever win a championship as an expansion team.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are the youngest team to win a professional championship in a major American sporting league – the MLB, NBA, NFL or NHL – in almost 50 years.

In 2001, Randy Johnson, Luis Gonzalez and Curt Schilling led the four-year-old team to a World Series victory over the mighty New York Yankees.

They’re the youngest MLB team to do so.

The only team younger than them in recent history was the Milwaukee Bucks in 1970-71. After posting the second-worst record in the NBA in their 1968 inaugural season, the Bucks won a coin flip against the Phoenix Suns for the first pick of the 1969 draft.

Milwaukee took Lew Alcindor – who would later become known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – and won a championship two seasons later, its third as a franchise.

The Suns reached the Finals in 1976 but are still searching for the elusive Larry O’Brien Trophy.

The Phoenix Mercury reached the WNBA Finals in their second year as a franchise and won in their eleventh.

As for the NFL, the Cardinals moved to Arizona in 1988. It took them 11 years to make the playoffs and another 10 to reach the Super Bowl.

The Cleveland Browns won the championship in their first year in the league, according to Golf Digest. However, they technically weren’t an expansion team, as they moved from the All-America Football Conference.

The New York Giants won the championship in 1927 after joining the league in 1925.

Arizona never had an expansion hockey team. The Coyotes, who came from Winnipeg, made the playoffs in five of its first six seasons in the desert, but haven’t been to the championship.

The youngest team to win the Stanley Cup was the Philadelphia Flyers, according to the NHL. After joining the league in 1967, they won a championship in the 1973-74 season.

The Knights and St. Louis Blues (1968) are the only expansion teams in the four major American sports conferences to reach the championship round, according to the New York Times.

Could the Vegas Golden Knights move into these rankings?

They started the season at 500-1 odds to win the Cup. History may not be in their favor, but the Knights don’t succumb to traditional norms.

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How do the Vegas Golden Knights compare to Arizona expansion teams?