This morning, the Vegas Golden Knights made a wild move firing head coach Gerard Gallant. At the same time, they made another crazy move and hired his replacement, former San Jose Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer, who was fired by the Sharks in December after that team started off the season terribly.
The Knights are coming off four losses in a row, including against the dog shit Sabres last night and gave up their division lead to several teams, but they’re still only three points out of first place. Gallant lead this expansion team of rejects of other teams to a Stanley Cup Final in their first year of existence, as well as to the playoffs last year. If they hadn’t given up four goals in a four minute penalty kill, they could’ve competed for the Cup last year too. Going into this season, Vegas was one of the favorites to win the Cup and even though they didn’t start the year great, they’ve been fine in the Pacific. They lead the league in shots and their power play unit is 9th in the league. Their defense and goaltending haven’t been great this year, but they’ve still been able to get wins all year. Yeah, they might’ve been struggling the past few games but I still think it’s crazy that they fired Gallant. Gallant’s been a pretty successful coach with a solid 118-75-20 record over the past two and a half seasons.
The guy’s the head coach of the Pacific Division All Star team, clearly he’s been doing something right. How that pans out is yet to be seen, depending on where he gets hired next. I’m sure he won’t be unemployed long.
The hiring of Pete DeBour doesn’t really make much sense to me either. Yes, he got the Sharks to the Cup Finals in 2016, but with all of the talent he had on that team, he wasn’t able to lead them to lifting Lord Stanley. He just couldn’t get them over the hump to win their first Cup. Especially with much better coach Peter Laviolette out there after being canned by the Nashville Predators earlier this month.
After the firing, it seemed to rattle the players a bit. Maybe this is the push that Vegas needs in the second half of the season to perform the way they should be to get themselves to the Stanley Cup. With pretty sizable futures on the Knights to win the Pacific Division and the Western Conference and Stanley Cup, I really hope they turn it around and get on fire to close out this season.