Golden Knights fire coach Gerard Gallant, hire Peter DeBoer to replace him

The Vegas Golden Knights are making a big change behind the bench. On Wednesday, general manager Kelly McCrimmon announced that head coach Gerard Gallant and assistant coach Mike Kelley have been relieved of their duties.

In conjunction with the dismissals, McCrimmon also announced that Peter DeBoer has been named the team's head coach. DeBoer will join the team for Thursday's game against the Ottawa Senators.

"In order for our team to reach its full potential, we determined a coaching change was necessary," McCrimmon said in a press release. "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."

Gallant has been the only coach in the short history of the franchise, which started play in the 2017-18 season. He leaves Vegas with a 118-75-20 record in the desert and he guided the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in their first season, where they lost to the Washington Capitals.

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

The Golden Knights have lost four consecutive games, including a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. The recent losing streak marked the third time this season that the Golden Knights have lost three or more consecutive games.

Entering Wednesday, Vegas sits in fifth place in the Western Conference's Pacific Division with 54 points and a 24-19-6 record. Even with their recent struggles, the Golden Knights only sit three points behind the Arizona Coyotes for the division lead.

DeBoer comes to Vegas with a career coaching record of 415-329-111 after previous head coaching stints with the Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, and most recently the San Jose Sharks, which he led to the Western Conference final twice, advancing to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016. 

Ironically, the Golden Knights lost in seven games to the Sharks in the opening round of the 2019 playoffs. DeBoer's Sharks lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference final.

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