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Head coach Pete Deboer fired, Golden Knights announce

It's not about what he didn't do, but about what VGK needs, says VGK's GM Kelly McCrimmon.
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 9:10 AM PDT|Updated: May. 16, 2022 at 4:42 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Golden Knights head coach Pete Deboer was fired, the team announced Monday.

“We would like to thank Pete DeBoer for his commitment to the Vegas Golden Knights over the past three seasons,” Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon said in a statement. “Since joining the organization, Pete and his staff have guided us through some of the most unique and challenging circumstances we’ve witnessed since our franchise entered the NHL. After lengthy discussions over the last two weeks, we believe that a new coach will put us in the best position to succeed next season.”

Despite missing the postseason for the first time, the Golden Knights own the sixth-most wins in the National Hockey League since their inception and the second-most playoff wins behind only the Tampa Bay Lightning -- who have won the cup in back-to-back seasons.

Yet it’s Vegas who finds themselves looking for their third head coach in six seasons.

“Three very compressed seasons. I really felt as the season wound down you could feel the fatigue that had gathered over time,” general manager Kelly McCrimmon said. “We have a four-and-a-half month offseason which I think is going to be really important for our group. We missed the playoffs which is humbling for a team, no matter what the reasons were for how that happened and I think what it’s going to give us in the fall to be incredibly rested, rehabbed, re-charged, excited and I felt as we went through it we could enhance it by having a new voice leading our team next season.”

DeBoer coached 160 regular season games behind the Vegas bench, winning 98 games. In two-and-a-half seasons, he accumulated a points percentage of 650 and two trips to the conference finals.

“I’m not going to stand here and be critical of Pete,” McCrimmon said. “I think he’s a real good coach, he’s a good man and a good friend, so that’s not part of it today. For me it’s about looking ahead and I know I’ve said that a number of times. It’s not a copout, it’s genuinely the basis of how these decisions are made.”

McCrimmon also announced assistants Steve Spott and Ryan McGill were also let go, while Ryan Craig and Misha Donskov were retained. Goaltending coach Mike Rosati will be given an opportunity to interview with the next head coach, a person they will take their time to find.

“The leadership, the bench management, the ability to communicate with management. All of the expected answers is what I would give you,” McCrimmon said. “I don’t think we’re out to solve a deficiency we thought we had. We’re going to go through a process where we hire the best possible candidate that we can hire and bring him in to lead our team.”