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Deryk and Melissa Engelland oral history interview: transcript


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Oral history interview with Deryk and Melissa Engelland conducted by Barbara Tabach on May 23, 2019 for the Remembering 1 October Oral History Project.

Deryk Engelland is a professional hockey player and team spokesperson for the Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas. He and his wife, Melissa, discuss the events of the October 1 shooting and how the Golden Knights chose to honor the community that they were representing after this tragic event. Deryk and Melissa Engelland established the Vegas Born Foundation to honor first responders and community heroes, and the couple talks about the organization's accomplishments since its inception.

Subjects discussed include: Las Vegas healing.

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Deryk and Melissa Engelland oral history interview, 2019 May 23. OH-03620. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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This is Barbara Tabach. Today is May 23, 2019. I’m sitting with Melissa and Deryk Engelland.

If you both would spell your names for us so we type these correctly.

M-E-L-I-S-S-A. Last name Engelland, E-N-G-E-L-L-A-N-D.

And Deryk, D-E-R-Y-K. Same last name. Will that work?

Yes, that works. If you don’t spell it differently—


—we’re good. We were chatting a little bit about your backgrounds, your upbringings. Neither one of you were born in Las Vegas, but you’ve lived here since when?
Two thousand and three.
What brought you here?

I came to school here; I went to UNLV for my master’s.

Talk about that a little bit. What did you get a master’s in?

I didn’t get it because I met him, so I dropped out. But I came here on that sole purpose of going on with my business degree. I had an undergrad from Concordia University in Wisconsin and wanted something different, get away from where I was. I came here and literally met him within a few months of being here. Maybe, what, four months? About four or five months of being here I met him.

Do you want to tell the story of how you met?

I think everybody knows.

It’s pretty much out there.

Everyone knows that?

Everybody knows it, yes.


Yes, after a hockey game. I moved here for hockey from Canada, obviously. We used to play at the Orleans and across the street at McMullan’s Pub they had a deal with the team that we could go there after games; I think we paid five dollars for a meal and then pay for any beverages that you had. You got a five-dollar meal after a game and you couldn’t beat that playing on the East Coast. We would always go there. One of the games a week or two before Thanksgiving?

It was right around Thanksgiving when we met. I don’t really remember anymore.

Yes, something like that. She was there with one of her friends that we are still good friends with now.
Andrea. I was there with Andrea, yes.
Yes, I just pursued her. I saw her at the bar and had to meet her.

All right. Were you a hockey fan before that?

I mean, I knew hockey growing up in Wisconsin and all that stuff, but I wouldn’t say I was an avid fan. I’m not an avid fan of any sports, I would say.
Yes, you’ve learned a lot over the years.
Yes, I’m not really....My dad was into NASCAR and stuff like that; other than that he wasn’t really into it. I played soccer and liked soccer and stuff, but that’s really all.

Like I say, this is mostly not about the sports career except how it intertwines with the One October. Just because I grew up with nephews who played hockey since they were little like your guys are here, how old were you when you started playing hockey?
Playing, I think five-ish. Skating, probably eighteen months to two years. My dad would just make a rink in the backyard. Back in Canada you just throw some water out there and it will freeze and make a rink. I think I was eighteen months or two and a half, a picture there, so I started then. I played hockey when I was five and have been doing it ever since.


And the rest is history in your short life.

Yes, yes.

What makes Las Vegas feel like home? How did it feel for you to move here? For you, Melissa, first.
I liked it. I really liked it. I liked the weather. The weather was a big draw for me. I just liked the weather. I found actually friends really fast here and good friends and I am still friends with the majority of those friends. I felt like maybe because everybody was from somewhere else, we just all bonded. I did, I really like it here. It just felt like home to me pretty fast.
Deryk, when you’re an athlete and you’re moving about for your career, how do you put down roots in a new city?
Well, coming here, when I first got sent down from Lowell, probably you think like every other person coming to Vegas, of the Strip and that’s it. Then you get picked up at the airport and you do the bypass and you don’t see the Strip and it’s like, okay. You see it’s a huge city, and that was fifteen years ago and it’s way bigger now.
It wasn’t as huge, yes, when the freeway didn’t connect back in the day.
Yes, it was still lights on the freeway. Then you see the community and you haven’t even been on the Strip and it’s an extremely clean city. That’s one of the first things I noticed was driving down the freeway and it was so clean. I was just on the East Coast, so it’s a little different there. Obviously, the weather is great year-round. Like Melissa said, the people you meet, you don’t meet any bad people here, it seems like. Everyone is extremely kind and that drew us to stay here. I think throughout our years with all the travel and stuff, a couple of summers we didn’t come back here and the following summer after that summer, we would always be like, we’re going back.


Yes, you would miss it.

I think after that it was pretty set in stone that this was our home base.

That’s great. When we reflect back almost two years ago, a year and a half ago, on October first, can you describe what you were doing that day or that night?
We had a preseason game at five, so we probably got out of the rink around eight.
It was a little later because we were all sitting there. You were there for a long time.

Yes, eight-ish, because we were home in bed when it—yes. Then we came home and we were in bed sleeping when everything happened. Melissa, one of her friends called, Chelsea, and woke her up. Our phones are on ‘do not disturb,’ but I think you let her through on your favorites or whatever.

Y es.

As soon as she called, she sat up. She said, “Something’s wrong.” “Why?” “Well, Chelsea is calling me. She never calls me at night.”
Well, it was one o’clock in the morning. I’ll never forget. It was morning, yes.
I’m like, “Well, call her back.” She calls her back and she said, “Turn the TV on,” in not so nice of words, obviously. When we turned the TV on that night, I think there was four dead and twenty wounded or something not near the magnitude as it ended up being, so that’s when we found out. Then it was just straight texting, trying to call people that we knew to see if everything was okay.

I had two friends there. Andrea was there. I was trying to frantically get ahold of her and I couldn’t. I was looking back on all of her stories and stuff to see if maybe she had left early. You know what I mean?
Like social media stories?


Yes. By the time we got the phone call and woke up and knew what was going on, it was one o’clock, so it was way past what had transpired. I was trying to go back and see if maybe I could see if she had left something so I could see if she was home or what was going on. I was calling and calling. I just kept redial, redial, redial, and I couldn’t get ahold of her. I was getting dressed and I was texting her, like, “Just text me; let me know you’re okay.” Because the last thing I saw on her social media was Jason Aldean playing, and by this time we had read the timeline by looking online at stuff, so I was beside myself. I had my clothes on and I was coming down the stairs when she texted me back, but that had been about an hour. I was just...

Between that I had other friends calling me because we had a coworker that was there that we were trying to get ahold of to see if she was okay. Now we have such a big group of friends and people are calling you to make sure you’re okay and I didn’t sleep a wink that night. I was just contacting people.

Then in the morning we have babysitters. My child goes to school here. I’m texting all my babysitters because we’re pretty avid country music fans and all of our friends are, so we were just texting every single person we knew, are you okay? What’s going on? Everything. I have a job here. Cash is in school. I’m like, am I going to go to school? Are his teachers going to be there? Are his friends’ parents going to be okay? There are so many things I’m thinking, like how am I going to explain this to my son, or what’s going to be happening?

Our coworker was okay. Andrea was okay. But one of our friends that we know was shot. I was just like, I can’t believe this. At the end of August we were at a wedding with him and our friends. All the sudden, Briana and Robbie called and they’re like, “Nick got shot. He’s in the hospital.” Nick Robone.
Okay, I’ve met Nick. He was one of our first interviews.


I’m like, how is this? We were just at a wedding with him? What is that, five weeks, four weeks ago? It was the end of August when Robbie and Nan got married. There’s pictures of us at the wedding, having a good time with all of our friends, and then next think you know she’s like, “Nick got shot.” I’m like, “What? No, this is insane. What?” I couldn’t believe that.

In a matter of moments our lives changed and the ripple effect of how people are affected by that is amazing, it truly is. How was it to go back to work for both of you that day or that next day? What happened next?
The next day the team had a day off.

We went to the fire station.

Yes, we went to the grocery store and got a bunch of groceries and went down to the union center for the fire department and dropped off a bunch of food and stuff because they were bringing people there to meet and to talk to people there. We just brought food and water and coffee down there. We know quite a few. I do a big charity hockey game with the firefighters, and so we’ve become good friends with a lot of them and thought we’d try to help out down there.

And then we couldn’t go give blood because they turned us away.

They were turning everyone away because there were so many.

There were so many people by the time we had gotten our—let me get my kids to school; let me go check in at work because I had to work and then they called off work. I actually ended up teaching one class. Some people didn’t show up because they were too upset and some people just wanted to kind of forget, and so I’m like, okay, let’s just go through something to keep your mind off this for forty-five minutes. And then I was like, okay, let’s go give blood. They were


already turning people away by nine o’clock in the morning. We did the firehouse stuff and all that stuff. We were there all afternoon doing stuff.
The team did a bunch of stuff the next day, the day after that, and then we had to return to practice and everything. From the hockey side, I still remember our first game in Dallas. We came back and tied it late in the game and then won in overtime, two-one I believe. Eric Littman—he was a fire chief here—texted me and said, “You wouldn’t imagine the spirits you’re lifting around the city right now.” I’m like, “What do you mean?” He’s like, “With the win. Everyone is right onboard with you guys.” I read it to a bunch of the older guys at the back. Obviously we knew we wanted to win for the city, but when guys started hearing that I think it kind of excited everyone that we’ve got to keep this rolling. We went to Phoenix and won there and then we came here for the home opener. I think it just fueled guys to keep winning, just going around town and seeing people just having a few hours of not thinking about it and watching a hockey game. Guys gave upon themselves to just give that extra little bit to try to make people happy.

It was magical.

It really was.

As a fan, as a person here, it truly was magical. It’s hard to even express. Interestingly how the stories connect, the coroner, John Fudenberg, tells in his interview how he left that first game and was walking down the Strip and how he detoured. He was going to go to the Route 91 for a little bit, but then something happened that he didn’t go. Another interview was an off-duty police officer who had been working traffic or something at the game. Your lives were there in the same spot and all of this, so serendipity how it happened.

We almost went.


Yes, we were going to go.
We were going to go because my mom and my sister-in-law were in town. We’re like, oh, we’ll go after the game because it’s an early game. Then we got to talking forever. We didn’t get out as early as we thought we were going to. It was like eight thirty and we had both the boys with us and we’re like, ugh, should we go? Should we not go? I’m like, “Let’s just go home. We’ll just put the kids to bed and visit with my mom and sister-in-law instead of going.” It was kind of like, do you have your mom babysit and go out? It was kind of like that because they were leaving the next day. We just came home because we would have ended up getting there probably right at ten o’clock, nine forty-five probably. We still probably would have had to take them home because he was in a suit and he would have wanted to change. By the time we came back here—I remember we drove right past Mandalay Bay. We literally go all the way around and then we turn left on Russell to come this way because we take Russell home because we live so close. But we drove right past it at like eight o’clock, not too far off.
Yes, those what-ifs.
Y es.
How close was Andrea to the stage when...
I can’t actually remember and I try not to ask her too much. I don’t know where she was. She was with her brother and her sister-in-law and two friends, and her two friends got shot. I know they all ended up going eight hundred different directions. It’s been a real eye-opener because I’ve gone through the stages with her from that night all the way through now. We’ve been friends. We met. She was in my wedding. She was there when Cash was born. She is like our family. To kind of see how devastating it is for somebody to go through that and not really know what to say or do...A lot of times I say to her, “I’m so sorry, I don’t know what to say, but I’m


here for you,” because I don’t know what else to say. It affects everybody because you just want to see the best. It’s really hard.
It is an interesting human condition that we are living in with this repeat of episodes. It’s not just isolated to this one.


The main reason people associate you, Deryk, with the hockey and the healing and all of that was your heartfelt speech that you gave on the ice when first responders and others were honored. Again, I’ve interviewed a couple of those people who were on the ice and that was so important to them personally, as well as the feeling for the community. How did that come about? How were chosen and how did you choose your words?

The team approached us and said that they thought—well, Eric told us—it would be a good idea. I don’t really speak in front of people very well, so I was kind of like, “I don’t know.” I talked to Melissa and she was like, “You need to do this.” I’m like, “Okay, I’ll try.” They sent over a rough...what points to hit. She is like, “There’s no way you’re going to remember to say it.” She kind of made the speech.

You did, too, though. It was a combination. Don’t take yourself out of it that much.

Okay, well...

It was definitely a joint effort between us and the Golden Knights to make it a very poignant and heartfelt—
But not lose anyone in the time.
Yes—speech. The whole thing: they really love the community and care. You can tell from everything that they did just as much as you do.

Yes, it’s home.


Like, it’s home; you care.

You see these things happen all over the place and you’re like, oh, it will never happen here, and it did. Just to know people that were there or people that were helping people there...I guess once I talked to Melissa about it, it was pretty much a no-brainer. You’re honored to get up and speak to those people that were affected.

I’m actually shocked you didn’t throw up before.

I was nervous. For about three days I couldn’t sleep. I just sat there and just said the words over and over in my head. All day long it would just be like, just rehearse; just remember this; please remember this, so I don’t screw it up type thing. We’ve watched it sense then and you can tell I’m nervous. I’m nonstop moving and swaying as I’m talking. But I never thought it would have affected the people the way it did, though. I still get people coming up and talking to you about it and thanking you for that. It’s a huge honor to have gotten up there and speak for those people. It was really important, as important as any other aspect of what transpired. Was it after that that you started your Vegas Born Foundation?

The first year we wanted to do something, so it wasn’t Vegas Born the first year; it was Vegas Strong. We went to them and said, “We would like to honor...”
We did that before that.
Well, we knew we were going to do something. We knew we were going to be doing something. We knew we wanted to honor people.

Yes, before the season started, either military or bring them to a game and honor them at the game, a lot of teams do that. We were trying to figure out what to do here. Once that happened that’s what it was. We talked to the GM and he was like, “Yes, do that for sure; that’s awesome.” So we did that.


We picked twenty people that were affected by One October and brought them to the game. We had doctors, nurses, paramedics, police officers, survivors.
Victims’ families.
Yes, victims’ families. We were very much trying to include every single walk of life. There were dispatchers. Because there were so many people that helped that night and did so much. We’ve actually become friends with quite a few of our heroes, which is crazy. It’s funny how small this world is, too, is that this Pilates studio I work with, there are two doctors there and I’ve known them forever. I had no idea what kind of doctor Scott was. He is an ER doctor and he was one of the ER doctors that was there that night triaging all the patients, and now he actually goes around speaking about how to deal with mass shootings and triage all these patients and stuff like this. We as couples, like his wife and him and us, have become very close. Him and Scott golf every week together now. We’ve become very close. I’ve known Scott and Rebecca for years. They come in for a class. “Hey, how are you doing? How’s work? Okay, bye, see you later.” Now we’ve really become close friends. As horrible as that was, there are people making those friendships and some good coming out of all this horrible stuff, the new relationships or friendships with people and helping. Now him and Andrea, when we meet at the games, will kind of talk. “How are you doing?” “How are you doing?” Because he had the same feelings she had obviously. It’s kind of bittersweet, I guess.

Even past everything we did last year, we carried on this year to the Vegas Heroes. Same thing, we kind of picked a hero from all walk of life that are doing good things in the community. It kind of brought up this whole, let’s continuing honoring people who are doing amazing things in the community and showing everybody else what a great community it is.
So you can find the kindness and goodness in folks and showcase that in a proper way.


Y es.

You’ll continue that on? You’ll do it again in October?

Y es.

Yes, as long as—

As long as we’re here.

—we’ve got a contract, yes, we’ll be doing it for sure, yes. It will definitely continue for sure.

Yes. And it’s really nice to do, meeting all the people. For the first year I went and met everybody beforehand and gave them a few things from Deryk and then they got to meet Deryk, and this year I did the same thing. I meet all the heroes beforehand and give them a jersey and some stuff and then they get to meet Deryk afterwards. We just let people know that we’re so thankful for what you do. It’s really nice. Even with our second heroes this year we had somebody we became—we have lots of people we become close with. It’s funny, our son was in the Pick You this year for a few days. He got a really bad gland infection and had to be in the ICU. I got this bag with things in it to help you out. Deryk was out of town. I was by myself. I rush my kid to the hospital and they tell me he has to go to ICU. I’m freaking out. It was Caitlyn’s Dream. In the beginning of the year somebody submitted her and we had picked her. I was like, oh my gosh, this is one of our heroes. When I met her I said, “I just want you to know that what you’re doing is amazing coming from somebody who was there in the hospital who hadn’t brushed her teeth, who rushed herself to the hospital at seven o’clock in the morning with her kid and I had no idea what was wrong with him. Thank you for what you’re doing. You are making an impact.” We both cried and then Carley cried and we gave each other a hug. I had a lot of people say, you’re the grassroots of helping people in charity, because we’re doing people who would normally not get any recognition.


You hit an important point that I’ve discovered through these interviews is that a lot of folks through their efforts have found ways to pay it forward to help other communities. Have other communities that have had traumas contacted you and wanted to know how to honor folks?

No, no one has contacted us personally.

Not us personally. Maybe the team.

Maybe the team, yes.

I think that would be really important. The helplessness that people felt in the community, to help others who might suffer from this same kind of grief of loss.

Could you tell me how you felt about guns—we always ask people that—before and after? I think it’s an interesting conversation, if you don’t mind.
I never grew up around guns. My dad didn’t have guns or anything like that. But my dad was a firefighter and a paramedic and same as my brother, so I grew up around law enforcement. I wasn’t necessarily shy of guns, but I never shot a gun or anything like that. We did go before October One to a shooting range for fun and I found it very scary to me. I thought it was too much power. It was not my style. I think now after this it’s not my thing. I don’t want one in my house. Maybe this has deterred me even more. I don’t think that they’re—there are so many thoughts I could think about that, but I never grew up around them; it was never a part of my life.
I grew up around them. I grew up hunting. It was always rifles and shotguns. As a kid you get a brick of bullets and throw some targets up and sit there for hours and do target practice and stuff like that. I actually never—was that the first? That might have been the first time shooting an assault rifle when we went.


It’s scary.

It is crazy, the power that they have. I’m all for hunting as a sport. The whole hunt is the part I like and I’m all for that. I still probably have the same outlook. I know back in Canada assault rifles are illegal; you can’t own one; you can’t have one in your house or anything. I think there are some things that can be changed for sure.

Yes, I agree, yes, there is no need to have something like that. It’s one thing for a hunting rifle; it’s completely different than a semiautomatic or automatic weapon. You don’t need that. What do you need that for?
I try not to show my biases when I do an interview, but I totally agree with that.

I don’t want to upset anyone either.

Yes, I don’t want to upset anyone. You grew up hunting.

Hunting is fun. I know people who do it.

You grew up in a country where it’s not allowed to have that stuff.

But some people don’t agree with hunting. Some people agree completely with...What’s the gun...
The Fourth Amendment right?
Is that what it is? To bear arms or whatever. There’s got to be some...If we can’t as people fix it, then we’ve got to fix it some other way and it’s going to be having laws in place.

I grew up in the Midwest where everyone believes whatever, but I want to everybody that until you are calling your friends at two o’clock in the morning to see if they’re alive or you’re taking your kid to school wondering if his friends or parents’ friends or teacher are dead, don’t talk to me. Until you have to explain to your child something like that or until you lose somebody, like you’re searching for them like we were, don’t...It’s true, you see it everywhere else and you’re


like, oh, that’s awful, but whatever. Then it happens and, like I said, you are the person at one o’clock in the morning searching to see if your friends are alive, the people that you love, and you don’t know, it will change you in a second. Until you’ve gone through that...
Yes, it’s tough.

I agree. Did you participate or go to any of the other healing efforts, like the Healing Garden or any of that around town?
When it first happened I actually stayed with Andrea. She didn’t want to go anywhere. I actually stayed with her and she came over here and stayed with us for quite a few days. That was my main concern was just to be there for her. Deryk went to a bunch of stuff.
We went a bunch of places. We went to the blood donation place. We went to the convention center where the families were all meeting. We went to the Welcome to Vegas sign memorial there. Then we went to the dispatch.
And you went somewhere else.
We were all over the town with the hockey team. They had us in different groups, so some of us went to the dispatch, some of us went to headquarters, police, fire. They had us all over trying to say thank you to people that helped and comfort people that were there or had people there or whatnot. We were all over the place that day trying to do whatever we could.
As a professional athlete had you ever experienced that kind of need from your fans or would-be fans? Not everybody here was a hockey fan yet.
No. It was definitely different. I think even at first some people were like, what are they doing here? Because it was so soon after. Why are they here? I think as the season rolled on people understood why we were out there trying to help. As the season went on there were a number of people that said, coming to a hockey game or watching a hockey game on TV, how much it’s


helped them, even if it’s just to turn off your mind for a few hours. Then us getting out in the community as much as we were, I think it fast tracked the community and the team coming together, for sure. Definitely I think it fueled the team to just go that extra little bit.
Oh yes. There are so many players that want to call this place home now because it’s been so amazing.

Oh yes. People who would have never thought of, maybe we’ll stay here after I’m done with my hockey career. There are a lot of people that are like, oh yes, we would.
Even this year. Normally in hockey after three or four days, everybody leaves. There are people still here. They are so happy here because the community is so good and there are so many fans. It’s just heartwarming and it’s nice. I don’t think people expected that kind of response here, and so getting it is awesome to them.

I love it when you or some of your colleagues pop up in commercials. It’s like, oh wow, they’re here. Have you done more public speaking since that night?
I can tell you’re really shy.

Yes. No, I haven’t—

He’s coming out of his shell slowly.

I’ve done a couple of things. We did a Q and A with a couple of the other guys at Suncoast, and then me and—who is the alumni from the Raiders that I did that with? I forgot. We did another Q and A with him. But other than that...I’m fine just sitting in front of—it doesn’t matter how many—and talking with someone, but it’s just if I were to get up and have to make a speech to everyone...

There is a difference.


Yes, it would be a lot tougher. I definitely would need some practice for that.

It’s been interesting and I don’t even know how to frame a question around this, but another observation. When you mentioned Nick Robone, I remember asking Nick if he thought his athleticism helped him survive, which we talked about and he did. There have been other people who I’ve interviewed that were attendees and injured. They may have been athletic or doing something beforehand, but then when they focused on that afterwards, their healing process they felt was better. You’re a Pilate’s instructor.


You’re a hockey professional. What is good about athletics that help people heal? Do you know what I’m trying to ask?
For hockey it’s a three-hour—for what happened it’s a three-hour window where you get to come together with other people. You’re not thinking about anything other than the game. You’re cheering. Maybe you’re having a few drinks. You’re just letting go of what’s happening around you and the world and rooting for a team. I think especially with what happened here, it gave everyone that few hours to do that. On the hockey side, it brought that many more fans behind you. To see around the community how tight everyone became after everything happened, it was even—

It was nice.

Yes, it was nice for us to see us as players.

I think she meant, though, how can you recover being an athlete, more like physically, right, is that what you meant?
I think this is a good answer, too, though. Yes, but physically, you can take it from there. Oh, sorry.


No, actually I preferred that because I was struggling. I think there is this multilayer of it. Psychologically what you’re touching upon, I can even talk as a fan that my husband and I tried to figure out how many hours we had watched hockey over watching TV we might have recorded that was still sitting there at the end of the season. We go, wow, we missed whole seasons of television shows, because we watched the game every night. And friends, we have a lot of hockey fan friends who live elsewhere and they were following the team or following what was happening here.

Yes, everyone was.

Yes, all over, yes.

It definitely brought everybody together, I think, and you see it now when you go to the rink. Same thing, I go see Dr. Scott at the same spot. You see everybody else. Everybody has camaraderie. That’s a good word. We’re all in this fight together. But you meant in the first question your physical ability to get over something?

Y es.

I think it’s just the mental—probably for you, you’re mentally strong. You know you have to get from Point A to Point B and you know how to get through it. When you’re trying to get through a hard workout or a hard class, you just mentally know I have to get from Point A to Point B and I’m just going to drive straight through the center and go. For somebody who is maybe more athletic, they have more of that mental strongness of I’m going to keep going and I’m not going to let anything defer me a different way.

I think on top of that, being in athletics you deal with injuries every week, every day—maybe not every day, but you’re dealing with injuries. Then if something else happens you figure out a way to get to where you want to go as quick as possible, like you were saying. But you’re used to


dealing with injuries because it happens every day. No matter what sport or anything that you’re in, it’s happening and you’re trained that if you have an injury, this is what’s going to help it; this is what I have to do to get back as quick as possible.
Yes. There were a lot of first responders and ex-military people that attended that festival, and so I think that helped a lot of folks in general, saved a lot of people; that effort.

Yes, definitely.

I’m curious. Usually I would ask, do you still go to events, big events? Did that change your habits of going to music festivals or something like that? But I’m curious when you’re an athlete and you’re in the middle of an arena, do you think about the fact that some crazy person could penetrate an event?

It’s weird because during my game I don’t. But we’ve gone to a few concerts at the pools this year since the season has been over and I don’t think I’m worried, but I’m more aware of my surroundings. I’m looking for—it’s sad—for where I can go, what’s happening up above me, who is around me, anything. You’re just more aware of everything that’s going on around you, I would think; that’s my biggest thing. But at a hockey game I don’t think of it.

I am definitely way more aware than I ever used to be. There is definitely certain—I haven’t been to a big concert venue. All the concert venues we’ve been to have been smaller where people have to go through metal detectors and all that kind of stuff, or even clothes, which is funny because you normally want it to be out. You know what I mean?

Y es.

Now you’re back to wanting to be in. but I am definitely more aware, especially if I go on to Toshiba Plaza. Some days I’m totally fine and some days I’m just looking up, around. Some days during last year in the playoffs really big, I wouldn’t bring the kids. Just things that you wouldn’t


normally think about. You’re like, hmm. I had planned to bring the kids to the first game and then I was like, no, I’m not going to. I was too nervous actually to bring them to the home opener. I was like, nope. I got spooked.
That’s the way it is now, I guess.


Are there any people or any stories that you would like to share with me that are related to this event?
Like Nick, Andrea, Dr. Scott.
What hospital is he with?

Southern Hills, right, is that the one? The one on Fort Apache.

His company runs, I think he said, thirteen hospitals and seven or eight of them are in Nevada and elsewhere.
He was on duty that night?
Yes, he—

Was he on duty?

He might have just went in. He is one of the head...runs them all, but he still does his time in the ER. He was at Sunrise.
He might be a good person to talk to for this.
Yes, he would be. I can definitely get you in touch.

He did a lot of interviews for it. I know he was on CNN or...

He is not one that we have interviewed. I ended up with a lot of UMC doctors on my list.

I think he was at Sunrise.

We didn’t get anybody from Sunrise and I’d like to.


Yes. Scott Scherr, Dr. Scott Scherr.

He is emergency department director at Las Vegas based Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

Anything more you’d like to share with me? How do you pick your heroes? Do you pick them or is there a committee?
Which ones, the first year or the second year?
Just in general tell me how that process works.

The first year Carley Sisolak works for the team, so Ken and Carley Sisolak, Deryk and I would just sit down and try. We knew—
We would pick the games.
We would pick the games. Obviously since they had done everything in the beginning of the season with all the people coming out, they had contacts, and so we would just say, “Hey, do you want to be our hero? We know you did this.” We just wanted to make sure we hit—Dr. Scott was one of ours because I’m like, “Hey, my friend who is a doctor...” He was having a really hard time at the time, and so we honored him. And then they were like, “Okay, let’s get a nurse. Let’s make sure we have a police officer. Let’s make sure we have a first responder.” We just got all walks of life that were there and affected. They helped us a lot with that, especially Carley because we wouldn’t be able to do it without the Golden Knights helping us.

Then this last year people had to be submitted by somebody and then we sat down again. The Golden Knights have been amazing to help us with this. But Carley, Ken, Deryk and I and my two kids sat in a board room for hours upon hours trying to pick people to be our heroes. It was the hardest thing.
To narrow it down.


It was hard. We couldn’t even narrow it down the first day. I think didn’t we narrow it down to forty?
Fifty, maybe, down to fifty and then maybe down to twenty.
It was painstaking.

It was like, how do you say no to these people and say yes to these? There are so many good people out there that you didn’t—obviously you knew that are out there, but you didn’t know the little things that they’re doing. It was pretty crazy are really neat to see.
It took us a long time.
That would be difficult, I would think. That’s wonderful, though, it really is. If I wanted to nominate someone, I could go online and do that?
Yes. We’ll relaunch everything once Deryk signs because we need him to sign. Once he signs we’ll do a thing letting everybody know through his social media where to submit somebody to and we give them a timeframe. It’s about a two-week period you can submit people and it’s usually sixty words or less just telling us why we should honor this person at our game.
I definitely have a couple of people in my mind that I think they would be wonderful for that honor, at least that many, anyway.
I really appreciate your time.
Actually my kids were pretty good.
Yes, I was surprised.
They were great.
I’m shocked. I just am curious what my bedroom is going to look like when I get up there.
Yes, that’s true.


I love how they come down and introduce themselves. They’re not shy at all. They’ve got it down.
Yes, they’re good.
Cash is a social...

Butterfly. He would be down here if I would let him.

Does he like to skate?

Cash? No. The last time I took him he was much better, but Talon is in lessons.

Talon likes to skate. But Talon is rough and tough.

Cash is into piano, loves that, and arts and science. He wants to be an ER doctor, actually, and that’s been stuck for the last...
Two years, maybe? Just two years.
More than that.


At least two years.

He’s your older, right? How much is he aware of any of this?


I didn’t let him watch any of that or know it. He does know a little bit on this year’s anniversary because of the picture he drew of himself coming in to save the—
No, that was 9/11. I don’t think he knows anything about what happened here.
He does because he makes references. After October One he was like, “Mom, there was a guy that came around here and shot people.” Remember?

Oh yes.
You’re like, ugh.


Yes, September eleventh this year they explained what happened then and he drew a picture of the towers on fire and everyone running out and him running in.
With a little medical kit.
With his little medical kit.

I have that picture. I should find it.

He is how old, seven?

Seven. He just turned seven.

He was six at that time.

He is very sensitive.

And then when we got to school to pick him up, the teacher pulled us in and said, “I have to tell you this. He was asking really good questions and I just wanted to warn you that he might have more questions when he gets home. And this was his picture he drew.”
The worst is when he’s like, “Mom, we had a shelter in place drill today. If somebody comes in with a gun and tries to shoot us...” Those drive me crazy. I’m like, really? This is where we’re at, wow.

Yes. I just discussed this. I was telling you about the librarian that I interviewed yesterday and she was talking about doing that in middle school and the questions that the children ask because the explanation isn’t always enough. Their minds are going. Being a young parent today...

It’s crazy. You feel helpless because they need to be in school, yet you do worry.

You just need to be aware that if you give them a box of matches, they will...Try to minimize it and be aware of your surroundings and people. The challenges.
Oh yes, always be different ones.


I really appreciate your time and you sharing.

Oh, no problem. Thank you for coming.

Anytime, yes.

Thanks so much.
[End of recorded interview]