Why Peter DeBoer's Sharks-to-Golden Knights switch was 'uncomfortable'


Why Peter DeBoer's Sharks-to-Golden Knights switch was 'uncomfortable'

Editor's note: Relive the Sharks' epic Game 7 comeback against the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday, April 12 at 9 p.m. PT on NBC Sports California.

Peter DeBoer coached the team that completed the greatest comeback in NHL playoff history. Less than a year later, he was coaching the team that was on the wrong side of that history.

All Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights coaches, players and fans know the game in question. Trailing by three goals in the third period of Game 7 -- after trailing the series three games to one -- San Jose scored not one, not two, not three ... count 'em ... FOUR goals on a single major power-play to flip the game script on its head. The drama was only beginning, though. Jonathan Marchessault tied things up in the final minute of regulation, and then after nearly a full 20-minute overtime period, Barclay Goodrow received a pass from Erik Karlsson, broke into the offensive zone and played the hero, scoring one of the most memorable goals in Sharks franchise history.

Though the two teams had already considered themselves rivals, that legendary game cemented that status for a long time to come. The Sharks and Golden Knights can't stand each other, and that animosity extends to the fanbases.

Tonight, they'll all get a chance to relive the climax of their head-to-head history when "The Comeback" is re-aired on NBC Sports California at 9 p.m.

DeBoer will be behind the Sharks' bench for that broadcast, but he doesn't reside there any longer. After being fired by San Jose on Dec. 11, 2019, he wasn't out of a job for much more than a month, as the rival Golden Knights fired their former coach Gerard Gallant on Jan. 15, 2020 and replaced him with DeBoer.

If you can imagine what it would have been like for Gallant to replace DeBoer and walk into San Jose's locker room after the bad blood shared between the two teams, you get a pretty good idea of the situation DeBoer inherited in Vegas.

"I'll be honest with you. It was a little uncomfortable walking in," DeBoer said on the "ESPN On Ice With Wyshynski and Kaplan" podcast last week. "We had some epic battles with that group over the last three years, having played them in the playoffs twice. All the baggage. Some of the games we had in the regular season. So my first meeting with the group was a little uncomfortable."

"From a fan perspective," DeBoer added, "I got a lot of, 'boy I hated you when you coached in San Jose, but we're starting to get used to you.' So that's good."

Though it took some time for the Golden Knights to turn things around after the coaching change, they soon hit their stride with DeBoer at the helm and won 11 of their last 13 games before the season was indefinitely paused due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As DeBoer explained, "winning helps."

[RELATED: Sharks' Karlsson adjusting well to being stay-at-home dad]

The Sharks didn't experience quite the same turnaround following their coaching switch, but they still have a crucial element of the rivalry.

"Evander [Kane] was definitely Public Enemy No. 1," DeBoer said with a laugh. "I was No. 2."

As for who likely is No. 3, well, stick around for the end of the game tonight.

How Sharks' previous trades, signings would be affected by new NHL CBA

How Sharks' previous trades, signings would be affected by new NHL CBA

The Sharks were forced to surrender multiple first-round draft picks over the past few years in order to retain top-of-the-line talent.

But in the NHL's new Collective Bargaining Agreement, San Jose's agreements with Evander Kane and Erik Karlsson would have been different.

Kane was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres in Feb. of 2018, with the Sharks surrendering Daniel O'Regan and a fourth-round draft pick. But the deal included a condition that if Kane re-signed in San Jose, the compensation sent to Buffalo would increase in value. Sure enough, Kane re-upped with the Sharks and San Jose instead had to deal a 2019 first-round pick to the East Coast.

But the new agreement mandates that teams no longer can include conditions in trades that allow for further compensation if a player re-signs, meaning the Sharks would have been able to hold on to their 2019 first-round pick (No. 29 overall), which ended up being used by the Anaheim Ducks on Canadian wing Brayden Tracey.

[RELATED: How NHL's potential new labor deal could affect Sharks’ offseason plan]

Previous CBA guidelines didn't allow NHL teams to sign players acquired via trade to an eight-year extension until after the following trade deadline. This forced San Jose to wait until June of 2019 to ink Karlsson to his eight-year, $92 million extension with the team, despite joining the organization in Sept. of 2018 after a trade with the Ottawa Senators.

But in the recently ratified CBA, this rule no longer will apply.

The 2019-20 NHL season returns to the ice on Aug. 1, but the Sharks won't be one of the 24 teams competing.

Sharks' Evander Kane announces daughter's birth after 'tough journey'


Sharks' Evander Kane announces daughter's birth after 'tough journey'

Just over a year after losing their daughter during pregnancy, Sharks forward Evander Kane and his wife, Anna, welcomed another daughter into the world.

The Kanes announced the birth of their daughter, Kensington Ava, on Thursday on social media. Evander Kane said his daughter was born on July 3. 

"My wife Anna is a rockstar, the strength and love she has displayed over the last 18 months," Kane wrote on Twitter. "We want to thank everyone who has reached out during this period in support of our family and (we) appreciate the kind words throughout this journey. I'm so proud of my daughter, it's tough to put into words how much she means to me."

Kane thanked the Sharks, their fans, his friends and family "for their overwhelming love" during a difficult time. Last March, Kane announced that their daughter, Eva, passed away 26 weeks into Anna's pregnancy.

"You gave us all, especially your mom and I, something to be excited about," Kane wrote of Eva on Twitter on March 14, 2019. "And though we are devastated that you couldn't stay with us longer, your mom and I will always cherish the time we had with your beautiful soul. Your spirit will give us strength, your love will give us comfort. We will love you forever."

The Sharks, San Jose teammate Mario Ferraro and Hockey Diversity Alliance co-founder Akim Aliu all commented on Kane's Instagram post on Thursday.