The Vegas Golden Knights moved on to what is already their third coach in their six years as a franchise this offseason.
Former Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy was brought on to replace Pete DeBoer, who now serves as the head coach of the Dallas Stars after the Golden Knights let him go back in May.
While DeBoer's next focus is on getting the Stars back to being a contending team in the Western Conference, he still cannot seem to wrap his head around what happened in Vegas.
“You for sure move on,” DeBoer said in an article from Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday. “Coaches compartmentalize things. The coaching part of my brain has moved on. I’m excited about Dallas and the group and the people I work for. Excited to get going.
“But it’s tough to completely walk away from what happened in Vegas because of the circumstances and situation. That’s going to stick in my head for a while.
“What could we as a staff have done differently? There are always things we could have done better, for sure.”
In his two-plus seasons in Sin City, DeBoer led the Golden Knights to back-to-back Western Conference Finals trips in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He left Vegas with an overall record of 98-50-12.
DeBoer said that the injury bug that had plagued his team last season was one that simply could not have been overcome by coaching.
“Listen, you sit back and reflect and look at those numbers and the teams in a similar boat to us injury wise and what they did … we had no chance. It sounds like sour grapes now, but we had no chance of having success with what we dealt with last year.”
Perhaps DeBoer is right. Maybe the choice to fire the coach after one unfortunate season -- especially one that entailed hardship that might have been far out of his control -- was unreasonable.
He did, after all, come in to replace Gerard Gallant and lead the Golden Knights to a 15-5-2 record to finish the 2019-20 regular season.
The standards are high for this organization, though. It would appear general manager Kelly McCrimmon and the Golden Knights franchise refuse to settle for any step backwards.
The pressure is on for Cassidy, who is just weeks away from leading his first training camp with Vegas.
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