In a complete and absolute shock, the Vegas Golden Knights fired Gerard Gallant, the coach who led their team to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final, on Wednesday morning and replaced him with Peter DeBoer. Gallant is scheduled to lead the Pacific Division at the All-Star Game after VGK had the highest points percentage in the division by end of play last Thursday.
The Golden Knights have lost four-consecutive games and currently sit fifth in the division, three points out of first-place Arizona.
But… what about this?
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Gallant is coach of the Pacific Division All-Star Team 😬
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 15, 2020
“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,” Vegas Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon said in a release. “We would like to thank Gerard and Mike for their service to the Vegas Golden Knights. They were both instrumental to the success we have enjoyed in our first two-plus seasons and we wish them all the best moving forward.
“In Peter DeBoer, we have a proven, experienced head coach who we believe can help us achieve our ultimate goal,” McCrimmon added. “We are excited to welcome Peter and his family to the Vegas Golden Knights organization. We look forward to a strong finish to the 2019-20 season with Peter at the helm and a successful tenure in the seasons to come.”
DeBoer will join the team Thursday in Ottawa before their game against the Senators. DeBoer has a record of 415-329-11 during three coaching stints with San Jose, New Jersey, and Florida.
Earlier this season, Gallant and Vegas were talking about an extension. Just a crazy year
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 15, 2020
VEGAS (January 15, 2020) – Vegas Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon announced today, January 15, changes to the team’s coaching staff: Gerard Gallant and Mike Kelly have been relieved of their coaching duties and Peter DeBoer has been named head coach.
McCrimmon will be available to the media in Ottawa on Wednesday, January 15 at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT before the team’s 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT practice at Canadian Tire Centre. A transcript will be provided by the Golden Knights Communications Staff.
DeBoer is expected to join the team on Thursday in Ottawa prior to the Golden Knights/Senators game at 7:30 p.m. ET. His media availability will be confirmed at a later time.
DeBoer owns a career NHL coaching record of 415-329-111 as well as 46 playoff victories following stints with San Jose, New Jersey and Florida. He was named the eighth coach in San Jose Sharks franchise history on May 28, 2015. With San Jose, DeBoer guided the Sharks to a 198-129-34 record over five seasons, including a trip to the first Stanley Cup appearance in team history in 2016.
Prior to joining San Jose, DeBoer coached the New Jersey Devils for three and a half seasons, posting a 114-93-41 record and leading the Devils to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final. DeBoer finished his coaching tenure with the Devils as the second-winningest coach in New Jersey franchise history behind Jacques Lemaire (276).
DeBoer spent three seasons prior to his stint with the Devils as head coach of the Florida Panthers, compiling a 103-107-36 mark behind the Panthers’ bench.
Before coaching in the NHL, DeBoer was one of the most distinguished coaches in the Ontario Hockey League’s history. He spent 13 seasons coaching with Detroit, Plymouth and Kitchener in the OHL, including winning a Memorial Cup Championship in 2003 and the OHL Championship in 2003 and 2008 with Kitchener.
A two-time winner of the OHL Coach of the Year Award in 1999 and 2000 with Plymouth, he was also named the Canadian Hockey League’s Coach of the Year in 2000. During his time in the OHL, he led his team to the league’s best overall record four times (1998-99, 1999-2000, 2002-03, 2007- 08) and is one of only eight coaches in OHL history to reach the 500+ win mark. He ranks eighth on the OHL all-time coaches win list (539) and 12th in games coached (878).
Internationally, DeBoer has frequently been selected to represent his native Canada, including serving as an assistant coach for the Canadian World Championship squad in 2015 (gold medal), 2014 and 2010. Additionally, he was a member of the coaching staff for Canada’s World Junior Championship team in 2005 (gold medal) and 1998. He also served on the Team Canada coaching staff for the 2007 Canada-Russia Super Series.
A center in his playing career, DeBoer was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 12th round (237th overall) of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft and played professionally for two seasons with the International Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals.
Headline photo: Vegas Golden Knights
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