With what has been one of the more improbable journeys in recent memory, the Vegas Golden Knights are a mere 4 wins away from completing a feat almost no one gave them a chance to do. Even their hometown of Las Vegas, the betting capital of the world, pegged them as high as 500-to-1 during the preseason to take home the Stanley Cup.
For those of you who aren’t great with numbers, if you were felling lucky in Sin City and wagered $100 on Vegas when the odds were at their peak, you’d be taking home a lofty $50,000 should they cap off their Cinderella run against the Washington Capitals (Game 1 on Monday, May 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET).
To be fair to oddsmakers, the Golden Knights are the first expansion team in all of sports to reach the championship round since the 1968 St. Louis Blues. And the 1968 Blues road to the Stanley Cup comes with a few asterisks. First, the NHL expanded from it’s “Original Six” teams to twelve teams (California Seals, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the aforementioned St. Louis Blues). Now, while the league doubled in size, the Blues were still only competing against 11 other teams, as opposed to the Knights jockeying for position with 30 other clubs. Finally, because of the league expansion, the NHL playoffs expanded from 4 teams to 8 teams which had to include 4 expansion teams. The expansion teams would playoff against each other (the West Division) before meeting an Original Six opponent (the East Division) in the Stanley Cup final. A bit of an easier path to the Stanley Cup finals than the Vegas Golden Knights had, you might say.
The Blues won the West Division and were subsequently swept by the Montreal Canadiens 4‑0 in the 1968 Stanley Cup final.
Needless to say, the Vegas Golden Knights historic run is one that might never be seen again, in any professional sport. And in our modern day of crazed Netflix binging or reality TV obsession, it’s almost a guarantee some sort of documentary, reality show, or, perhaps, Hollywood movie is created to relive Vegas’ underdog run to the Stanley Cup.
With the latter in mind, let's be bold and cast the stars of this yet-to-be-made but sure-to-be-epic-sensation Hollywood movie. Once upon a time, we casted the ultimate all-hollywood hockey team, so we consider ourselves vets at this.
Drum roll please.
Gerard Gallant played by Anthony Hopkins
Every one of these cheesed-up Hollywood sport classics revolves around a coach overcoming some sort of adversity to lead his/her team to the promise land. I can just see the opening scene with Gerard Gallant being left outside the Florida Panthers team bus (in the pouring rain, of course) after getting unrighteously canned. You know Tony Hopkins will deliver the heart-breaking sadness in that scene.
Tell me I haven’t lost you already…
Marc-Andre Fleury played by Adrien Brody
Let’s see if The Pianist can go from tickling the ivory to stacking the pads. I'll guarantee he can nail Fleury’s heavy francophone accent with his acting prowess but question whether he'll require a stunt-double to make some acrobatic saves. I have faith. Besides… the next best casting I had was David Schwimmer. So be thankful for my choices.
Deryk Engelland played by Shia LaBeouf
Even though Vegas has no captain, these films need some sort of wily vet to lead the pack. Think of Engelland like our John Biebe of Mystery Alaska. Shia might have to hack on a few to get into character, but he’s got the beard game covered.
And that’s what this is about.
George McPhee played by Jon Hamm
The architect. We can’t have a movie about an expansion franchise of castaways-turned-cup-contenders without zoning in on the mastermind behind it all. I’m sure George would approve of his casting. I wish Don Draper was playing me in a movie… Sigh…
Ryan Reaves played by Dwayne Johnson
I know what you might be thinking. Reaves is a fourth liner who just crashes and bangs! But this is Hollywood. What better storyline is there than a midseason acquisition who just puts opponents through the boards? And c’mon. This casting is too easy. Reaves may as well just go out and Rock Bottom someone during his first shift in the Stanley Cup finals.
Alexander Ovechkin played by Jeremy Renner
Oh the villain! You didn’t think I was going to go there, eh? Every Hollywood script needs a good villain. It's tough to envision the charismatic Ovechkin being portrayed as a bad guy, but in Hollywood anything is possible. And Renner can pull this off. Grow out his flow a bit, up the beard game, and we might be onto something.
He just looks like he’s got a bullet from the top of the circle.
The Supporting Cast
James Neal played by Adam Carolla
Oh what could have been. You should have been the lead role, James! Now you’ve been relegated to comic relief. Let’s hope for Vegas' sake that there’s a lot of Adam Carolla at the end of this movie.
William Karlsson played by Lucas Till
“Drive ‘er MacGyver!”
I actually know nothing about Lucas Till except that he’s the new MacGyver and he’s blonde and pretty.
Jonathan Marchessault played by Chris Pine
Ugh. Get out of my movie Chris Pine.
Nate Schmidt played by Chris Kattan
Maybe this is Chris Kattan’s big break to get back into mainstream Hollywood?
Alex Tuch played by Jake Gyllenhaal
Probably zero percent chance Gyllenhaal would sign on to be the eleventh lead. But whatever, Jake. Don’t be selfish and ruin my movie.
Reilly Smith played by Jonathan Silverman
This is kinda like in the days when you’re convincing a friend that his fake ID looks like him. I don’t care. I want Jim Bowers in my movie.
Shea Theodore played by Justin Hartley
There ya go This Is Us crazies…
Roll the Credits
So whaddaya think!? Is this movie an instant classic or a straight-to-dvd total bust?
Let us know in the comments or rate the movie on Rotten Tomatoes (hint: there is no movie on Rotten Tomatoes).