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“Most Talented Team I’ve Had In My Coaching Career”

Pete DeBoer is no stranger to standing behind incredibly talented players. Over the course of his coaching career in the NHL, he’s had Martin Broder, Patrick Elias, Jaromir Jagr, Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise, Scott Gomez, Stephen Weiss, Joe Thornton, Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson, Logan Couture, and so many more high-end players in the league.

DeBoer has been to the Stanley Cup Final twice, he’s been in the playoffs five times, and his teams have won nine playoff series. He’s coached four different franchises in almost 900 total games as he’s working into his 12th season this year. Yet for DeBoer, the 2019-20 Golden Knights are unique.

It’s the most talented team I’ve had in my coaching career. –Pete DeBoer on The Chirp Podcast

It’s hard to argue with him too. The Golden Knights are pretty stacked, especially following the trade deadline. The line of Mark Stone, William Karlsson, and Max Pacioretty is one of the best in the NHL and the group of forwards behind them is balanced and strong. Shea Theodore is quietly turning himself into an elite defenseman while Nate Schmidt, Brayden McNabb and Alec Martinez round out a top-four group on defense that is reliable in any situation. And the goalie tandem is without question #1 in the league.

As tough as it was for me to leave San Jose 33 games after going to the conference finals the year before, for me the Vegas situation is the opportunity of a lifetime.  It seems like a great combination of talent and character and leadership. Great community, great ownership, great management. I think you coach in this league for opportunities like this with teams like this and I’m really thankful for how everything played out even as tough as some of the moments were. –DeBoer on The Chirp Podcast

He’s coached numerous Cup winners, present and future Hall of Famers, countless All Stars, Norris winners, Vezina winners, Richard winners, Calder winners, Hart winners, Ross winners, Lindsay winners, you name it, DeBoer has coached it.

It hasn’t been rare for DeBoer to praise pretty much everything about Vegas since he took the job back in January, but we haven’t quite heard it with this type of historical context in his career. Yet he believes this Golden Knights team is the most talented he’s ever had and offers the opportunity of a lifetime. An even better opportunity than the one he had which have served as the Golden Knights primary rivals for the better part of three seasons.

I’m a big believer that everything in hockey happens for a reason. The way my career has gone, one door closing there’s always been another door opening with a better opportunity. –DeBoer on The Chirp Podcast

Now all he needs is a chance to see this opportunity out. This talented bunch was firing on all cylinders when the league was halted due to the pandemic. They’d just ripped off an eight-game win streak, had won 11 of 13, and hadn’t lost back to back games in almost a month. The league just needs to restart so the Golden Knights can go from the most talented group to play for DeBoer to the most accomplished.

**The quotes for this story were pulled from a recent podcast episode of The Chirp, hosted by VGK TV host Daren Millard. It is a tremendous conversation with DeBoer and his long-time friend Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice. Anyone who likes VGK should listen to this episode, it’s that good. Here’s the link to the episode.**


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  1. Herby Widmer

    Yet he believes this Golden Knights team is the most talented he’s ever had and offers the opportunity of a lifetime.

    This is complete BS and you know it.

    Or did you expect him to say:

    This is the least talented Team I ever coached and I wish I could have stayed in San Jose?

    • He could have not said any of it. He was not asked a question specifically about the talents of his teams, he will simply asked to go over the year that was. He offered up the fact that it was the most talented. Belittle it if you would like but I truly believe he not only meant it but fully believes it.

    • Juan Merrill’s Stalker

      Herby being Herby.

    • Juan’s Stalker’s Stalker

      Aren’t you the famous twitter Herby who guaranteed the VGK miss the playoffs? You wouldn’t know a talented team if they played their home games in your kitchen.

  2. DOC Williams

    I’m 100% behind DeCoach and our boys. Anyone else with me?

  3. His remarks were certainly complementary. He should have a pretty good idea as vegas eliminated San jose yr 1 and should have yrs 2. He didn’t say they were the “most” talented, he said they were the most talented he coached that’s a huge difference but nice just the same. That said they have the potential to raise the Cup if the opportunity presents itself. It is up to PDB to convince them they are that good – he took a step in that direction with the. Comments. Attitude and belief have a great deal to do with winning – if you think you can thrre is a good chance you will – if you don’t have that attitude it is almost a certain you won’t. Lrt hope they get the chance.

  4. sam

    So why did they start off the last 2 years so sucky?

    • DOC Williams

      Mr Sam ….. Do you really know hockey? Lots of teams who either made very deep run in playoffs (as Knights did yr 1) … or … Teams that suffer a particularly tough loss in playoffs (as Knights did in yr 2) … Start slowly. It’s happened to the best of teams. Where you are in October has no comparison to March.

      • sam

        It was more of a question that I know Sinbin has acknowledged, that they have under performed, albeit because of injuries or the reasons that you mentioned. But still, they have not played as well as a team with their players should of played! If you think I’m wrong, then why did they fire Gallant? Do you disagree that since the cup run, they haven’t been an elite team, but rather, a slightly better than average team benefiting from an extremely weak division?

  5. Thanks Doc it saved me the time to bother to answer Sam – he apparently is either new to hockey living in vegas or as you pointed out doesn’t know or understand the game. I wonder if he remembers Tampa Bay last yr.

  6. Tim

    The problem is a lot of people can’t wrap there head around Pete DeBoer as our coach after all our bitterness with the Sharks. Like anyone new he set his rules and I’m sure some who loved Gallant dearly took a while to get comfortable with the new coach. All that seems to be straightened out and winning makes that a lot easier. In our short 3 years we have seen a lot of changes. Who didn’t like Perron, Neal, Haula, Bellemare, Hunt, Carpenter, Eikens, and this year the ax will fall on Nosek, Merrill, and Eggeland and of coarse Gallant all served a purpose and were all love by us but time marches on. The one I miss the most is David Perron big mistake not signing him and the one I miss the least Thomas Tatar the player we should never have signed. I think were all excited and ready to watch some hockey.

  7. Tim

    Ken quick response to your comment best goalie tandem in the NHL. Sign Lehner trade Stantsy problem solved. You increase your chances of winning with two studs obviously.

    • Hard pass. There’s never going to be an argument for having 15% of the salary cap in goalies for me. The idea of having a $5 to $7 million player sitting on the bench nightly makes little to no sense.

      You want to trade, Stastny, fine, but replace him with someone who can play 82 games. If you want Lehner on the roster, trade Fleury.

      • Tim

        Ken let me approach this in a different way. Lets say Fleury and Lehner split the games 41 each and since we have the best two goalie’s in the league they save one goal a game. Lehner would save 41 goals and by keeping Stantsy or trading him for another center would he score more goal and assists in 82 games then lehner would save in 41 games. Both goalie’s would always be rested and an injury wouldn’t be the end of the world. Lets say we make it to the finals this year are you going to let a guy go instead of trying to continue the streak. It’s the most important position in hockey Period. Time will tell because you know there not trading Fleury. Ken that’s what makes sports great everyone has an opinion.

        • I’m willing to respect anyone else’s opinion on this, but I’ll stand incredibly firm in my own. I find it an exceptionally poor allocation of resources to spend 15% of the salary cap on goalies. Personally, I do not believe the difference between a high-end goalie is that much compared to a league-average one. Thus, since we can only play one per game, I’m willing to go with one great one and one average one in order to allocate the largest possible resources into my everyday lineup.

          For me, this has nothing to do with a “can” the Golden Knights make it happen. They absolutely can, it’s a “should” they, and they absolutely should not.

          This team went to the Cup Final with Subban and Lagace playing a lot of games. They had Subban play a bunch in Year 2 and 3 and when the playoffs came around, it was Fleury’s net every night leaving a minimum salary goalie on the bench, thus maximizing our available assets for the 18 skaters.

          If you want to get rid of Stastny, look at adding Alex Pietrangelo or Tyson Barrie. If you want to keep Lehner, get rid of Fleury and find a cheaper backup that is only marginally worse than Fleury for a fraction of the cost.

          There’s simply no convincing me that in a salary cap world that it is worth it to have $5+ million on my bench every night. Your focus seems to be on the 82 game regular season. Mine is not. I do not care where we finish as long as we get in. I want the Cup, and it is not a smart use of resources to have a goalie on the bench during the playoffs that makes a large sum of money. Pick the better one and use the money to support the 18 other guys that play every night.

          • Tim

            Ken your stuck on the cost of two goalie’s let’s say if Lehner likes the team and town would he sign 4 years at 5 million who knows if so 12 million to me is worth it to keep them rested and in case of injury were not in trouble. The bottom line is when the seasons over will they let him walk or not?

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