By Darryl G. Smart
Just over a month after getting fired by the San Jose Sharks, Dunnville’s Peter DeBoer is back in the game and is the new head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights.
Early this morning, Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon announced that Gerard Gallant was relieved of his duties and DeBoer would take over immediately.
Last night the Golden Knights (24-19-6) lost 4-2 to the Buffalo Sabres. The team is fifth in the Pacific Division and tied with the Winnipeg Jets for the second Western Conference wild card spot. The loss was the Golden Knights fourth straight, which was the longest stretch in the team’s young history.
Gallant was fired less than two years after winning the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year for his role in helping the Golden Knights reach the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. They also made the playoffs last season before losing in seven games in the first round to DeBoer’s Sharks.
Assistant coach Mike Kelly was also let go.
“In order for our team to reach its full potential, we determined a coaching change was necessary. Our team is capable of more than we have demonstrated this season,” McCrimmon said in a release. “In Peter DeBoer, we have a proven, experienced head coach who we believe can help us achieve our ultimate goal.”
DeBoer was 15-16-2 with the Sharks this season before getting fired. He had a 198-129-34 in five seasons with the Sharks and got to the Stanley Cup playoffs every season.
He is 415-329-111 in 12 NHL seasons with the Sharks, New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers. He also guided the Devils to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, when it lost in six games to the Los Angeles King