By September, the players making up the very first Vegas Golden Knights amputee team hope to have a scrimmage in place – perhaps against the Anaheim Ducks amputees.
For the last few months, men who have lost a limb have been practicing "Sled Hockey" on the ice over at City National Arena.
The difference in Sled Hockey: players are sitting on a sled with a large skate blade fastened to its underbelly. And players carry a shortened hockey stick in each hand using the blade end to hit the puck and the other end to dig into the ice to get the sled moving.
"I think it's very challenging, I think it's a way to be part of the community and have fun...bring some other amputees in. Sometimes people who get injuries or develop cancer or something like that tend to think that life is over," said player Lawrence Salerno. He lost his leg after a bout with cancer and has only taken up Sled Hockey within the last couple months.
The Vegas Golden Knights Foundation spent $15,000 on sleds and protective gear to gauge interest from the disabled community and find a way to connect all those who want to play to the sport. The rules of Sled Hockey are very similar to the traditional game. Several other pro teams, including the LA Kings, Arizona Coyotes, and Colorado Avalanche all have amputee teams.