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Classy: Pete DeBoer Wants to See Several Golden Knights Win Stanley Cup



Pete DeBoer, Dallas Stars, Vegas Golden Knights

Not long ago, Pete DeBoer was the head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights. After the Golden Knights missed the playoffs, GM Kelly McCrimmon fired DeBoer, who landed behind the Dallas Stars bench. Monday night, the Golden Knights advanced to the Stanley Cup playoffs and, in the process, bounced Dallas from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

It was a rare situation, DeBoer coaching against his former team the following season in the Western Conference Final. One might think there would be plenty of opportunity for grapes or bitterness. Still, DeBoer demonstrated great class in expressing that he’d like to see several of his former players, including captain Mark Stone, win the Stanley Cup.

In the moments following the Dallas Stars loss, DeBoer first praised his former players.

“If we can’t win, there’s some guys in the dressing room there that I really hope can win a Cup. I watched Mark Stone and Jack Eichel and (Alec) Martinez and Riley Smith rehab; tons and tons of games and months,” said DeBoer. “Last year, the adversity that group dealt with — and they’re healthy now and playing, so if we can’t win, there’s a lot of guys in the dressing room that I hope can win a Cup with what they’ve been through.”

DeBoer was a first-hand witness to the injury rehabs of Eichel, whom the Golden Knights acquired and allowed to have disc replacement surgery, and Stone, who suffered a lower-body injury last season.

Last season, Eichel played just 34 games as he rehabbed from serious back surgery. Stone played only 37 games in 2021-22, while Martinez played 26.

DeBoer’s Golden Knights were among the league leaders in man-games lost, which was a significant factor in missing the playoffs. In his introductory press conference with Dallas, DeBoer admitted he was blindsided by his Vegas firing.

And yet he still wished his former players well.

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