Golden Knights fire coach Peter DeBoer after missing playoffs for first time

In the aftermath of a season that started with high expectations, the Golden Knights on Monday announced that Peter DeBoer has been relieved of his head coaching duties. 

“We would like to thank Pete DeBoer for his commitment to the Vegas Golden Knights over the past three seasons,” Vegas 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.”

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Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer leaves the ice after the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game against San Jose Sharks in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. 

Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer leaves the ice after the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game against San Jose Sharks in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021.  (AP Photo/Josie Lepe, File)

DeBoer, 53, had an impressive 98-50-12 record in his 2 1/2 seasons in Vegas. He led the Golden Knights to the round before the Stanley Cup Final in both 2020 and 2021 before missing the playoffs last season with a 43-31-8 record.

DeBoer was the second coach in franchise history after he replaced Gerard Gallant in January 2020. Gallant served as coach of the team during its first two seasons, and he guided the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season in 2017-18 and back to the playoffs in 2019.

Unlike Gallant, DeBoer failed to make it to the Stanley Cup Final during his tenure in Vegas. 

Pete DeBoer of the Vegas Golden Knights watches the action from behind the bench against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center on April 26, 2022, in Dallas, Texas. 

Pete DeBoer of the Vegas Golden Knights watches the action from behind the bench against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center on April 26, 2022, in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

Last season, the Golden Knights failed to qualify for the playoffs due to injuries and salary cap problems, which grew following the blockbuster trade for Buffalo Sabres star Jack Eichel. 

Despite leading the Pacific Division in points earlier in the season, the team eventually found themselves three points back of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference after 82 games. 

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DeBoer, 53, is the fourth coach to lose his job since the season ended. He joins Detroit Red Wings’ Jeff Blashill, Philadelphia Flyers’ Mike Yeo, and the New York Islanders’ Barry Trotz, who defeated the Knights in the Stanley Cup Final.

Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer watches from the bench during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators on Thursday, March 24, 2022, in Las Vegas.

Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer watches from the bench during the third period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators on Thursday, March 24, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker, File)

DeBoer previously served as the coach of the Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, and the San Jose Sharks. 

He made it to the finals with the Devils in 2012 and the Sharks in 2016. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report