As the Golden Knights turn the page into a new era, the man in charge of the last one is doing the same himself. Pete DeBoer was recently named head coach of the Dallas Stars taking over a team that went one round further than the team he coached in Vegas this year.
In his introductory press conference, DeBoer shared his reaction to being let go from the Golden Knights this summer.
The Vegas one rattled me because I really thought as a coaching staff we worked as hard as we could with the situation that was handed to us this year. Getting 94 points out of a team that had lost 500 man games to injuries, I thought our coaching staff really worked hard to get that. To put it in perspective the other team that lost that many man games finished in dead last. I’m not going to lie to you, it rattled me a little bit that we were relieved of our duties. -Pete DeBoer
He went on to explain why he was so shocked.
I took the job in Vegas and thought I made an impact. We went to the conference final in the Bubble, went to the conference final, and beat Colorado the President’s trophy-winning team last year, and I thought we were building on that. We’re just starting to reach our potential and then had as disastrous an injury-filled year as I’ve experienced as a coach. -DeBoer
It’s actually fairly similar to the remarks Gerard Gallant made after he was let go from the Golden Knights in early 2020.
Usually you have an idea. You can feel something. But I didn’t have that. Maybe that was my own stupidity, I don’t know. I never felt like anything like that was going to happen. The Florida one I knew was coming, it was just a matter of when. I knew that from a meeting in the summertime. I had the feeling. This one I had no idea it was coming. I didn’t feel it coming at all. That was the toughest part. –Gallant to LVRJ in January 2020
DeBoer exits Vegas posting a record of 98-50-12 in the regular season, 22-17 in the playoffs (including three “round-robin” wins) and a 4-2 mark in series. These marks are all slightly better than Gallant’s 118-75-20 regular season, 16-11 playoff, and 3-2 series records.
Now, in walks Bruce Cassidy, who has enjoyed similar success as his two predecessors. However, all three have failed to deliver the one thing that matters to the Vegas Golden Knights.
And if he doesn’t do it, and do it quickly, he’ll probably be “rattled” or “shocked” in a few years too.