Most of us will never know how it feels to step in and coach a team of players you’ve spent countless sleepless nights cursing the existence of, but Peter DeBoer put this feeling in layman's terms for the rest of us.
DeBoer on taking over Vegas — after rivalry with the Sharks:
“It was a little shocking. But a good shock.”
On first meeting with his new players:
“We’ll get through it. It’ll be a little awkward - like meeting an ex-girlfriend when it didn’t end well.”
— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) January 16, 2020
Now that’s relatable.
After the sudden firing of Gerard Gallant, Vegas’ first and only head coach in franchise history, the team appointed former leader of their arch nemesis San Jose Sharks on Wednesday.
Between the controversial Game 7 in the first round of the 2019 NHL Playoffs, the ongoing feud between Evander Kane and Ryan Reaves, and the constant fiery matchups between these Pacific Division rivals, there’s definitely enough awkwardness to go around.
In his first media appearance as head coach of the Golden Knights, DeBoer praised the team for their work ethic, compete level and character. Something he had ample opportunity to admire and respect in his former position.
VGK Head Coach Peter DeBoer addresses the media: “When you’re on the other bench, you get an outside perspective of what (the Golden Knights) have. I can tell you, it’s so positive. Their work ethic, their compete, the character in that room.”
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) January 16, 2020
DeBoer was let go as head coach of San Jose earlier this season after a rocky start, and now has big shoes to fill in Vegas. Gallant, the 2017-18 Jack Adams Award winner, led an expansion franchise to the Stanley Cup final in its inaugural year, and left with a 118-75-20 record over two-and-a-half seasons.
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