LAS VEGAS — The Vegas Golden Knights made their way to the tarmac Tuesday, ready to board their charter flight to South Florida for Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Florida Panthers.
They sported polo shirts and slacks, some wearing designer sunglasses, and their carry-on bags for the journey
But when team insider Gary Lawless interviewed Alex Pietrangelo during the flight for a story, he asked the veteran defenseman what he packed for what may be the team’s most important business trip in franchise history.
“I only have business suits,” Lawless wrote in a tweet. “You should know that about me by now.”
Does that mean Pietrangelo only has business suits – not trips – because he has too much fun to consider it work? Or, that all he packs is suits?
That remains to be seen.
What we have seen – like with most of Las Vegas’ professional athletes – is the stroll into the arena and to the locker room has become akin to a fashion show walk.
Some have custom-tailored suits, others grab them off the rack and have them tailored. Some of them base their choices for gamedays on performance and win streaks.
Of course, the shoes complete the fit, the popular choice being Christian Louboutin. But not everyone is adept at paying top dollar for the French fashion designer’s stylish footwear which includes shiny, red-lacquered soles that have become his signature.
“No that ain’t me – that is not me,” defenseman Zach Whitecloud said. “I’m whatever. Whatever looks good. I’m not going out spending four or five hundred on a pair of shoes. I can’t justify that.”
As for his suits?
“Whatever the cleanest one is in the closet, it don’t matter,” Whitecloud added.
Make no mistake, Whitecloud steps into the arena looking clean.
Nic Roy, who scored one of Vegas’ seven goals in Game 2, opened the Cup Final with a plum-themed window-pane fabric that had hints of blue through the single-breasted design.
Roy said he doesn’t keep his closet stacked like others on the team. Instead, his choice from a limited selection depends on which ones have brought the most victories.
“I don’t have as many suits as Jack (Eichel), so it’s not as hard of a choice,” Roy said. “I look at my suits and I know which one I got more wins with, so I kind of decide a little bit with that. I know which ones are hot, and which ones are a little colder.”
Speaking of Eichel, he’s one of the more eccentric fashion aficionados on the team, as his threads are put together by Gentleman’s Playbook, whose list of clients includes “athletes, actors, musicians, executives, and more,” per the company’s website.
Eichel, a traditionalist who likes an old-school double-breasted look, opened the final with a peach of a suit for Game 1, literally.
His soft orange double-breasted offering had a 1970s feel, complete with the wide-buttoned closing and big lapels, complemented by a tan tie and white pocket square with complimentary lining. The star forward arrived in a forest green, single-breasted suit and brown tie for Monday’s second game.
And when it comes to shoes? Like most others, Eichel said he likes Louboutin’s on his feet before slipping on his skates.
The offensive star for the Golden Knights this postseason, Jonathan Marchessault, appeared to have the same style suit for both games, wearing a ribbed green suit for Game 1 and deep blue for Game 2. Both were single-breasted, and both custom-made by Surmesur with his name stitched in the lining.
Marchessault – who at 5-foot-8 got in Florida’s Ryan Lomberg’s face and said, “You’re not worth it little man” during the Game 2 romp – throws his feet into Louboutin or Gucci shoes.
Michael Amadio rolled into the arena for Game 1 sporting a tight-patterned grey, single-breasted, two-button suit, one of a couple of new ones he invested in and hopes are “doing the trick” for the Stanley Cup Final.
Considering the Knights are riding a three-game win streak since the Western Conference Final and have won eight of 10, his tailored Indochino suit might be the only one we see before Games 3 and 4.
“If we go on a winning streak I’ll wear the same suit for a few games in a row,” Amadio said. “I wouldn’t say I’m superstitious, but little things like that, I’ll keep riding it out if the team’s doing well.”
As for the shoes, warmer weather has him wearing loafers, as he admitted he likes “the no-sock look here and there.”
Like Whitecloud, though, a basic loafer is his shoe of choice.
Along with Amadio, defenseman Nic Hague said if the team is winning, he’ll sport the same suit in consecutive games.
Hague’s closet is a mix of custom-made suits, and tailored suits, depending on the suit. He said because he’s “so tall,” he’s not necessarily finding what he needs – or likes – off the rack.
“Kind of depends on the suit I’d say,” Hague said. “I’m definitely not as flashy as some of the other guys. I don’t even know how many I have. I got a decent amount I guess, but I’m a little bit particular in the playoffs.”
Considering how well the Golden Knights have played in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final, it’s safe to say they’ve looked just as good walking into the arena, as they have on the ice against the Panthers.
Game 3 is Thursday, stay tuned.