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DeBoer Shares Engelland’s Message To Him About Being Scratched Before The Pause

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When Pete DeBoer took over as head coach of the Golden Knights, one of the most drastic changes he made to the everyday lineup was to take Deryk Engelland out of it.

Before the season was paused, Engelland had been scratched in 12 straight games and had played in just one of DeBoer’s last 18. All in all, Engelland appeared in only five of the 22 with DeBoer behind the bench.

Under Gallant, Engelland was scratched just eight times in 213 regular-season games and not a single time in 27 playoff games.

DeBoer still believes Engelland is a major part of the team, however. Speaking with JT The Brick on Fox Sports Radio, DeBoer went out of his way to praise the leadership Engelland brought while being placed in a “tough situation.”

To a man they all want to win the Stanley Cup, that’s their number one motivation. They are willing to do whatever they have to do to be a part of it. I look at Deryk Engelland as an example of that. Tough situation, veteran guy, we had to scratch him some games here recently before the pause. The messaging to me was ‘I just want to be a part of this. When you need me, let me know, and I’ll be ready to go.’ You can’t have enough of that and that’s what makes groups like this special. -DeBoer on Fox Sports Radio

DeBoer went on to say the leadership group of the team is eight to ten players deep, but clearly has an affinity towards Engelland.

The question moving forward is where does Engelland fit in on a roster that has become crowded on the blue line. The Golden Knights have six NHL contracts on the books for defensemen already to go along with Nic Hague, Jake Bischoff, Dylan Coghlan, and Jimmy Schuldt all chomping at the bit in the AHL.

Leadership and character are major pieces in what the Golden Knights look for when constructing their roster, but at some point skill on the ice has to take precedence over intangibles. DeBoer proved unequivocally he trusted Nick Holden, Jon Merrill, and Zach Whitecloud over Engelland in the lead-up to the pause.

And, despite the kind words, likely tipped his hand as to Engelland’s future as a player in the Golden Knights organization along the way.

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51 Comments

  1. Pasta

    It’s the harsh reality of the business of professional sports.

    And can’t wait to see what Doc thinks !

  2. The BIGTOILET

    #5 is the epitome of a Vegas Golden Knight and the attitude fans appreciate

  3. Larry

    Just hope they find a place for him! Here has to be a way he can still inspire, teach and share hard earned wisdom.

  4. I love Whitecloud, Merrill, etc.. But what Engelland brings to the table is leadership and toughness. On this miserable break, work and hockey, Engelland brings a little intimidation and backs up our forwards. I read all comments on you tube after games, highlights. So many fans of other teams wish they had Reaves or Engelland. Let’s be honest, Tuch, Karlsson, Smith and to a far lesser degree Stone, need protection. Engelland loves this role, he’s like a Reaves back up. Other fans constantly bitch about being pushed around, we don’t get pushed around very often. Carrier is another guy, he may not fight much, but he’s got blazing speed and is a bruiser on the ice. Nobody likes to see their team being intimidated, Engelland is a big part of that.

    • Daryl

      I completely agree with you. Engo knows his role and he plays it very well. He won’t give you very many points but he’ll give you tough minutes. And if you look at his stats, his numbers are very similar or better than the other 3 blueliners mentioned. And as many penalties as we take at times, he’s a beast on the PK, which is one main reason why the PK% is highest when he is on the ice. IMO, he is better than Merrill (by quite a bit) and slightly better than Whitecloud. The other 3 mentioned are still a couple years away from where 5 is at right now. I would have liked to of seen Engelland get some games next to Whitecloud

      • Great points Daryl. I’m not so sure Engelland is washed up, others here are saying that, I’m not so sure. I agree 100% that Whitecloud and him would be dynomite. Whitecloud is a MCPhee, McCrimmon find, undrafted, he’s a good young player. He clears the puck out well, gets the forwards the puck really well. Just remember everyone here, when you cough up most of your cap on Stone, Fluery, Karlsson,Smith,Marchy,Tuch etc… You have to have guys that step up too that are $700,000 to $1,200,000 guys. Our team is nothing without Engelland,
        Merrill, Carrier, Nosek, Whitecloud and that kid Roy. We can’t win with 6 or 8 guys. Everytime their is a scrum, somebody messing with one of our forwards, 100% of the time if Engelland was on the ice he was sticking up for one of our marquee players. The high end guys know this, it’s really a great team sport, you need every guy producing, firing on all cylinders. I also agree with everyone, #5 should be a part of our team for many years, be it The Silver Knights or the big team. That is a no brainier, McCrimmon knows this, so does McPhee.

        • Matt

          Since Holden and Whitecloud have been paired up which was Peter Deboer’s move they have let in the most goals out of any defensive pair in the NHL, and I think Holden has more goals on his own net than the opponents net, and that’s not a joke. Englland is way better than both those guys because he brings you toughness, he will backup any teammate, he is great on the penalty kill cause he doesn’t get pushed around and can get in those corners and get that puck out of the zone and most important he brings leadership which is something our team needs with a lot of young guys and guys who really aren’t used to the spotlight and being this good, so he definitely can help them out. I hate not seeing him out there. And coach wants to have a captain on our team well there are only two guys and that’s Englland or Pachioretty. I know Stone is probably the best player but he’s a little to emotional to be a captain don’t get me wrong you want someone with emotions but him and Marchasault are just too emotional. Stone should have that A though but if they are going to keep scratching Englland than Patches for sure should be the captain plus he proved it for what over 6 years as the captain in Montreal. But I just hope coach brings back Englland and scratches Holden or Whitecloud. Man all these last names are hard to spell especially with my phone trying to auto correct everything even worse haha.
          Do the right thing Coach. We all want Englland…..

          • Daryl

            I couldn’t agree more…. I’ve said since the beginning of this season that Engo would probably need to rest every 4th or 5th game just to keep his legs come playoff time. I also understand you won’t get a lot of offensive production from #5 so if need be cut his minutes some. But he plays better defense than most out there and I don’t quite understand why he hasn’t played more since PDB arrived. As I said above, I would love to see Engelland and Whitecloud get some time together… I think it would really help Whitecloud out and better prepare him for the following season

  5. Patches doesn’t need much protection, as a 35 goal scorer or more that bad boy can fight. I failed to mention that.

  6. "DOC"

    Who’s jersey/sweater did I decide to invest 200 bucks on, that first season? #5 !!!!!!! I loved the guy from the moment of his speech before home game 1. I respect him so much for his involvement in the local community! BUT, quite frankly age has caught up with my man. My hopes have been, for a while now, that he will stay in the organization as a coach on some level. The Knights or the AHL team! He’s a class guy with lots to teach younger players. The Knights need to do whatever is necessary to keep him in the fold. His playing days, I believe, are over. Which saddens me but he can still be a tremendous asset here and I think he will! #5 will be the only VGK I will ever wear!!!

  7. Bunni Warner

    I watched the inaugural game last night and saw that there are several VGK players that are no longer a part of our Misfits,but, Deryk Engelland is what WE ,as a team but most of all as a City, have in our hearts. He,along with Fleury,have fight,determination , sportsmanship,charisma ,the love of the game and honor. I would to see him remain with the VGK and possibly become one of the captains.

  8. Mdr

    As much as I love #5 and every aspect that he brings to the team his days as a player are numbered! That being said I think there is still a lot of opportunity for him in the organization with AHL moving here he can be a defensive coach for the up and commers

  9. I hope that the Golden Knights put the first C on his chest, even if it is honorary ! He has been what makes the class and gratitude of the whole organization.

  10. Arnold

    We all love Derek but this is the time he has to be on the sideline cheering his team on to the Stanley Cup. I think if our former coach realized this he would still be head coach of VGK

  11. I thought Derek as a leader espaclly during the opening game when he have his speech . He should always be a golden knights and captain !!!!

  12. Bungi

    England would make a great bench coach for the Silver Knights. Keeps him with the organization and teaching the younger players.

  13. Daryl

    Arnold… I have to disagree with you here. It’s not like DE was horrible and his play cost us games, at least no more than any other player. IMO, Engo is better than Merrill and Whitecloud and just as good as Holden, at least defensively. If DE cost us several games and continued to play, then I could see your point. Think about this, Holden was on the ice for around 20 of 25 goals at one point. Not saying they were all his fault, but he was partially responsible for several of them.

    • Arnold

      Sorry but you are 100% wrong. I am a season ticket holder since day 1 of year 1. DE cost us many games last year and especially this year. Whitecloud is better even now in his first yeR. Holden too. Merrill on the other hand is not that good. I don’t see De or Merrill getting much if any playing time unless 2 defensemen go down. I have expressed concern about DE since last year and our new coach did exactly what I would have gone and Gallant should have done

      • Daryl

        Well, that is your opinion and I guess we’ll just have to disagree. I’ve watched hockey since around 1980 and growing up I played defense up thru college. I’ve read a lot of people talk about #5 and most of what fans have said isn’t exactly correct. They don’t like how he plays back and he gives up a lot of shots, but that is b/c he isn’t as fast as others and he knows it. He is almost always in the shooting lanes and the shots he gives up are from the outside. Playing back also prevents him from getting beat. And he is very seldom out of position and he isn’t afraid to hit someone.

        Again, as someone who has played defense his entire life, I love watching those guys on the ice instead of offensive players. Whitecloud is very good, and eventually will end up being a 2nd pair blueliner, but he has made quit a few small mistakes that aren’t very obvious. Some of that will go away with experience and playing alongside someone else for awhile, but he still makes those mistakes. He still hesitates between going behind the net or in front and passes up the middle to clear pucks when he should just play it safe along the boards. For me, Whitecloud is a year away from being an every day defenseman. He also has the potential to be better than Engelland and Holden.

        As for Holden, he’s stepped it up this year which I was happy to see but he still isn’t great at defense. He has too many turnovers, he’s made some really bad passes (more than others), he gets beat along the boards and he jumps up in the offense zone at bad times. If you compare their defensive stats, #5s are better. Engo has a better ratio of takeaways to giveaways, more blocked shots, more hits, better =/- and PK% is better when Engo is on the ice.

        I’m not saying Holden is bad, he’s a 3rd pairing blueliner just like Engelland is. I think his offensive upside makes him a better prospect in today’s NHL but depending on the opponent (tougher teams), I would play Engelland over him.

        • Matt

          Since Holden and Whitecloud have been paired up which was Peter Deboer’s move they have let in the most goals out of any defensive pair in the NHL, and I think Holden has more goals on his own net than the opponents net, and that’s not a joke. Englland is way better than both those guys because he brings you toughness, he will backup any teammate, he is great on the penalty kill cause he doesn’t get pushed around and can get in those corners and get that puck out of the zone and most important he brings leadership which is something our team needs with a lot of young guys and guys who really aren’t used to the spotlight and being this good, so he definitely can help them out. I hate not seeing him out there. And coach wants to have a captain on our team well there are only two guys and that’s Englland or Pachioretty. I know Stone is probably the best player but he’s a little to emotional to be a captain don’t get me wrong you want someone with emotions but him and Marchasault are just too emotional. Stone should have that A though but if they are going to keep scratching Englland than Patches for sure should be the captain plus he proved it for what over 6 years as the captain in Montreal. But I just hope coach brings back Englland and scratches Holden or Whitecloud. Man all these last names are hard to spell especially with my phone trying to auto correct everything even worse haha.
          Do the right thing Coach. We all want Englland…..And I have been to every game we have season tickets in a suite since day one, I also played for 19 years and played 3 games in the WHL until career ending injury. By any means not bragging Just saying I know a little about hockey. And we need a different 3rd defensive pair and Engelland should be one of the skaters, maybe with Hague.

        • Arnold

          I have been following Hockey since the 1950s and was always a New York Ranger fan. I know a lot about hockey and people call me the hockey professor. England should retire. He is too slow for today’s hockey but he will always be loved in LV. I don’t think you’ll see him playing defense on VGK again. He’s really should’ve retired after last season when he really slowed down a lot

          • Daryl

            Again that is your opinion, I, along with several others, do jot agree with you. If you don’t think Engelland can still play I can only wonder what your thoughts are on Merrill and even Holden. Yes Engelland is slow but he can still outplay several other playsers. Again, he knows the game and is very seldom out of position. Being slow hasn’t hurt him in that aspect. That also hasn’t hurt him in being more physical along the boards, blocking shots, and making smart plays

      • Bob

        Totally agree with you. It screams why we had a coaching problem as well. This an elite NHL team can’t play players for sentimental or fan favorite reasons.

      • Mike ilardi

        All your comments about England he is a veteran .he should stay give the guy a break look what he did before the opening of the 1 season !! Keep England debor is a shark coach he does not like Vegas due to last 2 Stanley cup playoffs !!! he has out for England .hats off to England I been watching you for years followed from Pittsburgh the guy is enforcer !! I sulute you England . Put debor in his place show him who is boss

        ulute you next captain put debor

  14. Tim

    Deryk Engelland good guy but the time has come to call it a day. Living locally he’s in a perfect position to be an assistant coach for the Silver Knights. With his reputation he’ll be well respected with the younger guys he’ll be coaching. Who knows maybe in 5 years he’ll come full circle and become head coach of the Golden Knights.

    • "DOC"

      Like your comment Tim … It WOULD be something if #5 became VGK head coach one day. Also, we are all assuming he WANTS to keep playing. (He probably does, as all hockey players want to play as long as possible), BUT we really don’t KNOW his mindset, do we?

      • Juan Merrill’s Stalker

        Doc you should have your keyboard checked, seems like the Caps Lock engages randomly.

        • "DOC"

          Yea Juan they do! Guess you have quite a boring life to spend it worrying about cap usage and stuff. But again, thanks for noticing as it confirms you are glued to my posts!!!

    • Juan Merrill’s Stalker

      Yeah, would be great to see Engo show the young guys the art of skating slower.

      • Daryl

        He may be a slow skater, but at least he is in position to make plays, isn’t afraid to hit others, will block shots, and stick up for his players…. thats more than I can say for Merrill

        • Arnold

          Merrill will be sitting out most games with DE

          • Daryl

            They need to find someone to replace Holden as well yet instead they sign him to an extention

  15. Yes Im old! I started to play hockey, In Las Vegas 1968! When the team leader let the team and the fan’s The feeling in the Team room.
    We need to keep a Man like Derek! I had a coach that let me know how my ass would would be kicked Detroit! He was right! But I was inspired! To love the game and the lesions that I learned. We all know it”s Time for him to seek a new path. I hope it”s with VGK! Big D make Henderson your coaching debut!

  16. Baba Booey

    It’s (k)night time for grandpa. It’s a buisness. Let the kids play.
    Ps. It’s “champing” at the bit.

  17. The LOVE affair pretty well continues which is fine, however, reality of the situation is obvious – DE has passed his prime and deteriorated over the last two years. If you have been watching the re-runs he was quite a force back then but that has long passed. When they swept thru the finals right up to the first game of the Cup serious there was no question why they were winning – then unfortunately they ran out of gas. As one of the initial posts indicated this is a business not a popularity contest and whether you like or don’t like PD he has made a conscious decision that for the good of the club he has made difficult rooster changes – he recognizes that DE is pass his prime and more of a determent on the ice than off. One can elude to playing the game or the stats etc but reality is just that – DE knows this as well as all those posting the love affair – he can step down – actually has with grave rather than try and come back and embarrass himself. PD did him a favor and helped him with the decision that I am sure was difficult to make and accept. We all get older and hate to admit that just maybe time has passed us by unfortunately.

  18. Daryl

    Nobody on here thinks Engelland is a dynamic defensive force who should have his pick to play on any team. He is a 3rd pair blueliner. He is slow. He doesn’t have much offense. BUT he does understand the game. And you can throw the stats out the window all you want, they do prove a point… he CAN still play. He is out there to play defense and he does it very well. Yes there are times when he gets beat or makes a mistake but name another player who doesn’t. This isn’t a love affair with him or any other player. It’s called watching the game and seeing what is happening on the ice. Merrill has played horrible for almost the entire season. Holden hasn’t looked good for about 3/4 of the season. I really like Whitecloud but see him another season away from being an every day D-Man. Put #5 out there instead of 22 or 15 and you will have fewer turnovers, more takeaways, higher GAA and a better PK. What you have with 22 or 15 over 5 is MAYBE a slightly better offense, but that is even questionable.

    Yes I like Engelland and yes I want to see him play. But if I honestly thought Vegas had a better option and Engo had to sit, I would be ok with that, but that’s not what I see. If Vegas had traded for another D-Man then Engo would probably be out. But with the options they have right now, he should be playing over Merrill, Holden or even Whitecloud

    If Engelland was willing to play elsewhere, he would get picked up right after this season.

    • Arnold

      I doubt he would be picked up except by an expansion team. Get over it. DE is finished as an NHL player. Hopefully he will get a coaching job with VSK next year

      • Daryl

        I seriously doubt Engo would want to play anywhere else but I think you’ve lost it to say nobody else would take him. He is a 3rd pairing defenseman who plays at base salary. I’m sure there are at least a handful of teams who would take him, at least for 1 season. I don’t see him playing much more than that but easily 1 season.

  19. Daryl – your last post indicates you are finally beginning to let your head rule your heart versus the other way around. He is finished, he knows, the coaches know and so do the fans who understand and watch the game. He had his day in the sun and served well and know it’s time to graciously step aside while he is still Loved by many. He understands and knows better than any of these posts the party is over, finished, done with. What the future holds for him only time will tell. The only true thing for certain it’s not on the ice as a regular or 3rd line pairing with the Knights or any other team. Sorry my friend that is the reality of the situation.

  20. Daryl

    And as always you have a right to your opinion. If he played every game this year then I could have seen next year being similar to this one, as a spot fill in. But seeing how he played 20 or so less games and this season will be cut short, I think he still has one season left in him, even in Vegas. If Vegas had someone better than Holden, Merrill or Whitcloud, then I would agree his time is done. The main reason I say he could play another season in Vegas is mostly because of those 3. They simply are not that very good. Whitcloud has potential to be a solid 3rd or even 2nd pairing just not next season. If Engo decides to hang his skates up after this season then kudos to him, but if he decides to play one more season I have no doubt he could do it. I do believe that next season would be without a doubt his last.

  21. Your comment suggests they can’t attract another one. Comparing him to those three – particularly two of the three is a poor excuse to keep him around. If you have been watching the reruns the difference two years make is huge. The heart may have the desire but the head knows better. It’s a tuff sport and takes its toll and finally the body says in one way or another enough is enough. Age takes a toll whether we want to accept that reality or not – it is a fact of life regardless what shape your in . Why would he want to go out there and be a likability to the team and embarrass himself. Go out on top loved by all.

  22. Daryl

    I’m not saying they can’t attract anther blueliner, but their actions (the Holden contract) shows they aren’t trying it are happy with what they have. My point about comparing him to those 3 is that if they are good enough to play then so is he. And if you consider his pay compared to the other 3 he is a better option.

    And if he decides to retire on top after this season then that is great also. I also have watched from the past couple seasons as well as Pens games. Yes DE has slowed but he’s also adjusted his game for it. He stays back more and doesn’t take as many chances. If you noticed, he stays back more in the defensive zone giving up more shots to the outside instead of confronting players and playing more aggressive on them. Again, his defence is still better than the other 3

    • I am impressed how you feel but that doesn’t change the situation as far as DE or the coaches look at the entire issue. Did you take into account that he came cheap as there was no other way. Keep him around for a cheerleader if that makes you feel better just keep him off the ice. They can’t afford that liability. This has nothing to do with not liking the guy it is just life and the way it is. This is a business not a love affair – your observation eludes to him being a cheap date. I don’t believe anyone think the other three, especially 2 of the 3 are the cream of the crop in any means. I guess only time will tell. Keep smiling they need to get back to the rink and complete this season. It was unfortunate they were unable to bring the cup to Vegas their first season – that would have been a miracle on ice. and probably their best chance – they were hungry, had something to prove as cast -offs but just ran out of gas when it mattered most- not unlike your buddy DE.

      • Daryl

        That’s a funny comment… “keep him off the ice. They can’t afford the liability.” He is no more of a liability than Holden, Merrill, or Whitecloud. You can throw stats out the window all you want but they are kept and used for a reason. Vegas’ PK us highest when DE is on the ice. Holden was on the ice for around 20 of 25 goals during one stretch. The pairing of Holden/Whitecloud have given up more goals than any other pairing during the 2nd half of the season. Percentage wise DE has more takeaways, fewer giveaways, more blocked shots and more hits. Yet you say he needs to retire yet everything else says he’s better than the other 3 on the team

        • My friend your missing the point – at no time have l said the other three were the answer l simple said in one way or another DE should hang it up why he can go out without embarrassing himself. Time waits for no one and DE is no exception his time has passed that’s the reality – it happens to everyone.

          • Daryl

            I completely agree with everything you have said… I’m simply saying that as long as he can play as good as the others we have, he doesn’t need to hang it up and he won’t embarrass himself (unless you think the others are embarrassing themselves also). If that is the case, then we are on the same page.

    • Daryl

      We’ve been agreeing for almost this entire conversation lol.

      • Not exactually but that’s ok we are in agreement now. Interesting way to pass the time. While love affairs are ok l have had the opportunity over a life time in the business world where difficult decisions concerning an employees future is something that had to be done and in almost all cases it was for everyone’s good. PDB is here to make some difficult decisions which l am sure won’t please everyone,-that is not his job it’s to win at all cost. That’s business as ruthless as it may appear. You6 have to admit it did give us something to do to pass time. Go knights go sooner the better.

  23. Daryl

    I would be OK if PDB decides not to reassign Engo. My while point is he can still play as good as Holden, Merrill and Whitecloud. Whitecloud is a little different as he is on his way up and can improve quite a bit. But if those 3 are not embarrassing themselves on the ice then neither is Engo. I also have stats that showed Engo is as good or better. Now, if Vegas ended up picking up another blueliner that is better than those 4 then there is no conversation here. But as long as we are talking about 5,15,and 22 then work his salary 5 is still a decent option.

    And yes, this had been a good way to pass the time until hockey resumes

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