LAS VEGAS – Vegas Golden Knights fired coach Peter Debour on Monday after the franchise missed the playoffs for the first time in its five-year history.
General Manager Kelly McCriman made the announcement and thanked Debour for working with the organization.
“Since joining the organization, Pete and his staff have taken us through some of the most unique and challenging circumstances we’ve witnessed since our franchise joined the NHL,” said McCriman, whose work is not in jeopardy. “After long discussions over the last two weeks, we believe the new coach will put us in the best position to succeed next season.”
“Vegas” failed to qualify for the playoffs after a series of injuries caused by problems with salary restrictions, caused chaos in the team, especially in the goal. The Golden Knights were at one point first in the Pacific Division, but after 82 games found themselves three points behind last place in the Western Conference, despite the acquisition of central Jack Aichel in trade with Buffalo and other steps to to make them a long-term contender for the championship.
An organization that has a short leash on coaches is not new. Debour coached the Golden Knights for 2 and a half seasons after being appointed in January 2020 to replace Gerard Galant, who led the team to the Stanley Cup final in their first season of 2017-18 and returned to the playoffs in 2019. .
Under DeBuer’s leadership, they have reached the playoffs in the previous two years and have each lost one round before the Stanley Cup final.
The 53-year-old Debour became the fourth coach to lose his job after the end of the regular season, joining Jeff Blaschill of Detroit, Mike Yoo of Philadelphia and Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders. The Islanders on Monday called for his replacement by longtime Trotz assistant Lane Lambert.
Vegas joins the vacancy list, which also includes Winnipeg and Chicago – teams that are not waiting for the return of interim coaches.
Debour coached his fourth NHL team after working with Florida, New Jersey and San Jose. He led the Devils in 2012 and the Sharks in 2016 to the final.
More NHL AP: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.