The NHL continues to recycle coaches.
After firing head coach Gerard Gallant Wednesday morning, the Golden Knights subsequently hired former Sharks coach Peter DeBoer, who was canned last month after 3 ½ seasons in San Jose. The Knights also fired assistant Mike Kelly.
“You’ve seen consistency issues,” Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon said in Ottawa. “We are like a lot of teams — had real high hopes for the year, still have real high hopes for the year. We’re in a unique position where we’re right in the mix, so this isn’t a case where the bottom fell out and we were left with no choice.
“It was a situation more where proactively it was our belief that this was going to be the best thing for our organization.”
Gallant, the only head coach in franchise history until Wednesday, led Vegas on a shocking run to the Stanley Cup Final during its inaugural 2017-18 season. McCrimmon thanked Gallant and Kelly for being an intricate part to the team’s success in a statement Wednesday. However, McCrimmon believes that “our team is capable of more than we have demonstrated this season.”
DeBoer becomes the second head coach fired this season who has already landed another job, as John Hynes replaced Peter Laviolette in Nashville after he was fired by the Devils last month.
The decision to remove Gallant comes amid a four-game losing streak for the Golden Knights. Vegas currently sits in the middle of the Pacific Division, 15 points ahead of the last-place Ducks.
DeBoer has a 415-329-111 record during his coaching career with the Panthers, Devils and Sharks. He made trips to the Stanley Cup Finals with the Devils and Sharks, but lost both times. The Sharks had a 15-16-2 record when they decided to relieve DeBoer of his duties, and they’ve gone 6-7-2 since.
In last year’s playoffs, DeBoer and the Sharks eliminated the Knights in a seven-game first-round series.
“His teams are always very well prepared, very well coached,” McCrimmon said of DeBoer. “He’s an intelligent guy. Teams have always been very strong special teams. He’s been to the Stanley Cup Final with two different teams. He enjoyed a lot of success in the National Hockey League as a coach and I think with this opportunity he’ll continue to do that.”
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