Gerard Gallant was fired as coach of the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday and replaced by Peter DeBoer.
Gallant, the first coach in Golden Knights history, was hired April 13, 2017, went 118-75-20 in three seasons with Vegas and made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the past two. Vegas advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018, when they lost in five games to the Washington Capitals.
The Golden Knights (24-19-6), fifth in the Pacific Division and tied with the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference, also fired assistant coach Mike Kelly.
"In order for our team to reach its full potential, we determined a coaching change was necessary," Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon said. "Our team is capable of more than we have demonstrated this season.
"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. 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, who was fired by the Sharks on Dec. 11, is expected to join the Golden Knights for their game at the Ottawa Senators on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; RDS2, TSN5, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV).
DeBoer was 15-16-2 with the Sharks this season and 198-129-34 in five seasons in San Jose, qualifying for the playoffs each season. He is 415-329-111 in 12 NHL seasons with the Sharks, New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers. He guided New Jersey to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, when it lost in six games to the Los Angeles Kings, and coached San Jose to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, when the Sharks lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. DeBoer also coached the Sharks during their seven-game win against the Golden Knights after trailing the best-of-7 Western Conference First Round 3-1 in 2019.
It is the seventh coaching change in the NHL this season. In addition to Gallant and DeBoer, Peter Laviolette was fired by the Nashville Predators on Jan. 7 (John Hynes), Jim Montgomery by the Dallas Stars on Dec. 10 (Rick Bowness), Hynes by the Devils on Dec. 3 (Alain Nasreddine) and Mike Babcock by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 20 (Sheldon Keefe). Bill Peters resigned as Calgary Flames coach Nov. 29 (Geoff Ward).
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