In a shocking, seemingly out-of-nowhere move, the Vegas Golden Knights have fired head coach Gerard Gallant, according to multiple reports.
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.
The Golden Knights have dropped four straight contests and now sit fourth place in the Pacific, but are tied for the final wild card spot and are just three points behind Arizona for first in the division. The Golden Knights are 10-9-3 this season away from T-Mobile Arena and if the regular season were to end today, Vegas would miss the playoffs as they are the ninth seed in the Western Conference. Gallant: I thought we played better as the game went on.
"Proactively, this was our belief to do what's best".
"It's tougher, especially when you're losing to teams you know that you're better than", Golden Knights winger Mark Stone said Tuesday night.
But, due to a combination of injuries, a lack of secondary scoring, poor goaltending at times and a less than stellar defense, the Golden Knights have punched below their weight for much of this year. They've always been very honest with us, respectful to the players and you're never going to hear a bad thing about them.
But the Golden Knights lost four straight games to - at least temporarily - fall out of a playoff spot.
News of his firing hit Golden Knights players hard.
"I wish I could be more specific", McCrimmon added. They loved the game, loved coming to the rink and we feel responsible for letting this happen. They were in first place at the midpoint of the season, meaning Gallant was slated to coach the Pacific Division team at the 2020 NHL All-Star game. That led to Wednesday's stunning coaching change. With San Jose, DeBoer guided the Sharks to a 198-129-34 record over five seasons. Vegas also reached the postseason in 2018-19, losing in seven games to DeBoer's Sharks after blowing a 3-1 series lead.
DeBoer and Gallant clashed during the postseason previous year, while Vegas fans were incensed at DeBoer and the Sharks following THAT controversial call on Cody Eakin in Game 7.
DeBoer has a 415-329-111 record during his coaching career with the Panthers, Devils and Sharks. He was named the eighth coach in San Jose Sharks franchise history on May 28, 2015.
"His teams are always really well prepared, well coached", McCrimmon said. We did some good things down low, but we struggled to score. He's a really respected coach in the industry ... he's an intelligent guy.
However, boasting a talented roster with a strong core at his disposal, Gallant led his team into 2019-20 with high expectations for another deep postseason run.
The Golden Knights' power-play unit is ninth in the NHL with a 21.8 percent success rate while the penalty kill unit is nineteenth in the National Hockey League with a 79.7 percent penalty kill rate this season.