Golden Knights fire Gallant & replace him with DeBoer

Omnisport
Despite being firmly in contention for a playoff berth, the Vegas Golden Knights have replaced Gerard Gallant with Peter DeBoer.
Despite being firmly in contention for a playoff berth, the Vegas Golden Knights have replaced Gerard Gallant with Peter DeBoer.

The Vegas Golden Knights have fired Gerard Gallant, the franchise's first head coach, and his assistant Mike Kelly to allow the team to "reach its full potential".

Gallant, who was appointed when the Golden Knights launched as a NHL expansion franchise in 2017, has been replaced by former San Jose Sharks boss Peter DeBoer. 

The Golden Knights reached the Stanley Cup finals in their first season under Gallant's stewardship, losing in five games to the Washington Capitals.

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Vegas again made the playoffs in 2018-19 but bowed out in the first round to DeBoer's Sharks across seven games.

DeBoer oversaw four successive playoff appearances for San Jose, leading them to the Stanley Cup finals in 2016. The Sharks were beaten by the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.

However, he was fired last month having won only 15 of 33 games in the 2019-20 campaign.

The Golden Knights are 24-19-6 after 49 games and still firmly in contention for a wild card berth.

But, in a statement, general manager Kelly McCrimmon said: "In order for our team to reach its full potential, we determined a coaching change was necessary.

"Our team is capable of more than we have demonstrated this season. We would like to thank Gerard and Mike for their service to the Vegas Golden Knights.

"They were both instrumental to the success we have enjoyed in our first two-plus seasons and we wish them all the best moving forward.

"In Peter DeBoer, we have a proven, experienced head coach who we believe can help us achieve our ultimate goal.

"We are excited to welcome Peter and his family to the Vegas Golden Knights organisation. We look forward to a strong finish to the 2019-20 season with Peter at the helm and a successful tenure in the seasons to come."

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