After failing to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in franchise history, the Vegas Golden Knights have fired head coach Peter DeBoer. Assistant coaches Steve Spott and Ryan Craig have also been fired. The announcement was made Monday by general manager Kelly McCrimmon.
“We would like to thank Pete DeBoer for his commitment to the Vegas Golden Knights over the past three seasons. Since joining the organization, Pete and his staff have guided us through some of the most unique and challenging circumstances we’ve witnessed since our franchise entered the NHL.
“After lengthy discussions over the last two weeks, we believe that a new coach will put us in the best position to succeed next season,” said McCrimmon.
After taking over from Gerard Gallant in 2019-20, DeBoer went 160-98-50 in his three seasons with the Golden Knights. This season the VGK had over 500 man-games lost to injury and were unable to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In early March, DeBoer surpassed career win no. 500, making him the 26th winningest coach in NHL history. In 15 seasons in the NHL, DeBoer has made it to the finals twice in 2012 with the New Jersey Devils and in 2016 with the San Jose Sharks. He has never won a Stanley Cup. DeBoer has one year left on his contract at $3.25 million per Pierre LeBrun and could very well sit out 2022-23.
Barry Trotz, John Tortorella, Joel Quenneville, Paul Maurice, Mike Babcock, and Henderson Silver Knights head coach Manny Viverois are among the names that could potentially replace DeBoer.
The New York Islanders are in an eerily similar spot to the Golden Knights as they also came off of back-to-back trips to the Conference Finals and missed the playoffs in 2022. One week ago, head coach Barry Trotz was fired by the Islanders with Lane Lambert hired on Monday as the next coach.
“We are in the results business. The decision is about next year. It is about starting with a fresh voice and a reenergized team. It is about a group of players with something to prove and that is the attitude we want to take into next season. This was part of that,” said McCrimmon on Monday.
DeBoer and Trotz join Philadelphia’s Mike Yeo and Detroit’s Jeff Blashill as fired head coaches this offseason. The Golden Knights join the Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks as teams currently without a head coach.
It is unknown when a replacement head coach will be named for the Golden Knights. McCrimmon stated they have not started looking for a new head coach just yet in his. Next up on the offseason schedule are the NHL Awards, which are not until the Stanley Cup Finals.