The Vegas Golden Knights are the 2023 Stanley Cup Champions following their 9-3 blowout of the Florida Panthers in five games. The Golden Knights won their franchise's first championship six years after inception, with six of their original "Golden Misfits" still on the roster (Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, William "Wild Bill" Karlsson, William Carrier, Shea Theodore, and Brayden McNabb).

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Misfit Marchessault won the Conn Smythe trophy for playoff MVP. He led the playoffs in goals and was second in points. Marchessault and Smith were two special misfits, who were practically thrown to Vegas by Dale Tallon and the Panthers back during the expansion draft. They have now beaten the team that dumped them six years later to win hockey's ultimate prize.

Brief pause in the celebrations for Vegas. I just want everyone to think back and try to remember who the Golden Knights got from the Leafs in expansion. First one to reveal the name in the comments gets a prize. No cheating!

Marchessault is also the first undrafted player since Wayne Gretzky to win the Conn Smythe in the NHL. And if you account for all the WHA drafts, Marchessault is the first ever undrafted player to win playoff MVP. Talk about beating the odds.

You might have caught me mention the score in the final game of the season, and yah, it wasn't close at any point. Vegas got out to a 2-0 lead after one, extended it to 6-1 after two, and lifted the Stanley Cup after three. Clinical play from one of the most structurally balanced top teams in the league.

The Golden Knights are the first men's professional sports team to win a championship in Vegas – the Las Vegas Aces of the WNBA were first last year.

Jack Eichel, the third franchise star from Connor, Auston, and Jack, is a Stanley Cup Champion less than two years after the back surgery that Buffalo rejected him over.

Mark Stone, traded from Ottawa for a second round pick, is a Stanley Cup Champion.

The six "Golden Misfits" who were given away for nothing are Stanley Cup Champions.

Zach Whitecloud of the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation is a Stanley Cup Champion.

Michael Amadio, whom Sheldon Keefe just didn't like, is a Stanley Cup Champion.

Alex Pietrangelo, who just cost too much, is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion.

Oh, and Phil Kessel is now a three-time Stanley Cup Champion. That's pretty cool.

18 Canadians from six provinces (BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec) were in the Game 5 starting lineup, including Nic Hague from Kitchener and Reilly Smith from Mimico.

Golden Knights receive congratulatory messages after Stanley Cup title
The Vegas Golden Knights were congratulated on social media after winning the Stanley Cup in Game 5 against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.
The 19 best photos from the Vegas Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup victory
What a scene in Vegas for the Stanley Cup!
Marchessault of Golden Knights wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP
Jonathan Marchessault was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday.
How Jack Eichel’s surgery decision could become the new standard for hockey players
Jack Eichel’s desire for a specific type of neck surgery led him to Vegas, where he is healthy and one win from lifting the Stanley Cup.

The after action report for the Panthers made it pretty clear the team didn't have enough gas in the tank or intact bones in their bodies to be competitive by the end. Matthew Tkachuk had a broken sternum, Aaron Ekblad had multiple major injuries, the list is long.

And I believe Miami/South Florida, I don't know what they want to call themselves, is the first city/town/region to lose in the NBA and NHL Finals on back to back nights.

Various Leafs and Branches

Some final tidbits of news surrounding the Leafs and the NHL to cover.

For Toronto, that means Jake Muzzin, Nick Robertson, Victor Mete, and Rodion Amirov. So, not a problem. Matt Murray was healthy by the end of the season and was off IR, according to CF.

I don't know about a curse, this shows how hard it is to win a Stanley Cup. It's not grounds to complain and demand special treatment, but to focus on the task, and as one man says, "keep chipping away."

He would be silly not to.

And finally, the details of the Ottawa Senators sale. Didn't get a billion, but still a huge win for Bettman, the league, and Ottawa.