By Rob Miech
Las Vegas Sun
LAS VEGAS – As veteran Wranglers Shawn Limpright and Marco Peluso inch closer to lifting the first ECHL championship trophy in the five-year history of the Las Vegas franchise, they are content with a stark realization:
These are likely the golden days in their careers.
Limpright, 26, thinks some young Wranglers can develop into National Hockey League material. He wasn’t exactly referring to himself.
Peluso, 27, questions whether he will reach the American Hockey League, the level between the ECHL and the NHL.
“Maybe I’ll end my career in Europe,” he says. “But I’m comfortable here and I really want to win a championship for this city.”
They are the most-tenured Wranglers. They bought into coach and general manager Glen Gulutzan’s blue-collar blueprint and have helped nurture its success.
They have invested the most time trying to turn Las Vegas, tied with Cincinnati at a game apiece in the ECHL Kelly Cup finals, into a hockey title town.
Both spent considerable stretches on the shelf this season with injuries but boosted the Wranglers in playoff victories over Alaska and Utah.
We’re healthy at the right time, Limpright says. Maybe it’s a little advantage, being so fresh when it matters most, Peluso says.
Not so long ago, both thought the only ice in Las Vegas chilled the martini tumblers and highballs of casino high rollers.
“I didn’t even know they had hockey here until the past three or four years,” Peluso says. “It’s exciting for me. Such a great city.”