Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019 | 6:48 a.m.
The Golden Knights made two significant roster moves Friday.
They signed 12-year-old Jay Procter and 8-year-old Jace Owen to one-day contracts in partnership with Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada. The children skated with the team at practice and will be on the bench during warmups for today’s game against the Nashville Predators.
Procter and Owen signed contracts with Vegas general manager George McPhee at a press conference in front of the media. They had personalized lockers next to goalie Marc-Andre Fleury’s in the dressing room, and took the ice at the end of practice.
Procter, a goalie, has a heart condition and Owen, a skater, has a blood disorder. Both are from Canada, but became Golden Knights fans. They desired to meet Fleury, a Canadian national.
“They put me to work, which was nice,” Procter said. “One of my teammates found out from a coach and he texted me and was like, ‘Do you think you ask Fleury and (William) Karlsson if they can sign a puck?’ and I see said, ‘I’ll see what I can do.’ So they’re pretty jealous.”
Procter even got the full Golden Knights experience, dropping the gloves with Vegas tough guy Ryan Reaves.
“He shed his gloves and gave me a clean fight,” Reaves said. “He caught me with the hard right and I’m a little dizzy right now. I was just in the quiet room. Everything seems to check out, we’ll see tomorrow.”
Added Procter: “If he wants to go, I’ll drop him. It’s up to him.”
The timing of their visit couldn’t have been better. The Golden Knights are mired in their worst stretch of the season, having lost seven of nine games and a franchise-worst five in a row at home. They had a standard practice Friday, but got to end it with a light-hearted experience.
“It’s a little tense, everybody’s mad and no smiles around the room,” Fleury said. “Hopefully we give them a good time, but it’s good for us too to have them around, have them smile, they made us smile too and have some fun on the ice.”