Peter DeBoer

Peter DeBoer will use lessons learned with Sharks to help Golden Knights

Peter DeBoer will use lessons learned with Sharks to help Golden Knights

Peter DeBoer spent four-plus seasons leading the Sharks. He coached them to Stanley Cup Final and another Western Conference Final berth.

But messages get stale and general manager Doug Wilson made the decision to relieve DeBoer of his duties in December with the Sharks sitting at 15-16-2. A month later, DeBoer now finds himself at the helm of the Sharks' archrival -- the Vegas Golden Knights. 

DeBoer was hired Wednesday, replacing Gerrard Gallant who was fired after the Golden Knights fell out of the playoff picture. 

In his first comments since being announced as head coach, DeBoer said he thinks he can take some lessons he learned in San Jose and apply them to his new club.

"The one thing I learned in San Jose is if you can walk into a locker room with good character and good people that you can find your way through the turbulent waters," DeBoer said after the Golden Knights' morning skate. "I think that's probably the case here. You got a real good group of men that care, and we'll find our way through it."

In the midst of a four-game losing streak, the Golden Knights find themselves at 24-19-6, just behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Vegas entered the season with Stanley Cup aspirations. While they have underachieved to this point, DeBoer led the Sharks to a similar turnaround a few years back. 

"This is a team that the goal is to win the Stanley Cup," DeBoer said. "They are one of those teams. I feel like we've been one of those teams in San Jose the last four or five years. That's the goal. I can tell you that the year we went to the Final with San Jose, December or January we were right around .500, you know, spinning our tires a little bit. We found a way to get it going in the right direction. The list is endless of teams that are in this situation at some point or another. It's one of the things I'll talk to the players about.

"A little bit of adversity, I think is always a good thing. it's just how you deal with it." 

[RELATED: Why Sharks should go after Gallant]

DeBoer was well-liked in the Sharks' locker room and his firing left the players stunned and shocked.

Eight months ago, Gallant called DeBoer a "clown" before the Sharks and Golden Knights played a memorable Game 7 in their first-round playoff series.

Now, DeBoer will be tasked with helping Vegas do what he couldn't in San Jose. Win it all.

Why Sharks should consider hiring Gerard Gallant as next head coach

Why Sharks should consider hiring Gerard Gallant as next head coach

Around and around we go on the NHL's coaching carousel.

Gerard Gallant became the seventh head coach fired this season when the Vegas Golden Knights relieved him of his duties Wednesday and replaced him with one of the previous six -- Peter DeBoer -- who was fired by the San Jose Sharks last month.

DeBoer being hired by the Golden Knights already adds another interesting wrinkle to their rivalry with the Sharks, but could another one be in store before long? Might San Jose simply swap head coaches with its arch-rival?

It's certainly a possibility.

Gallant is regarded as one of the better coaches in the NHL, and his firing was more a result of the Knights' lofty expectations than his personal failures. Unlike the Sharks, Vegas still sits in prime contention for a playoff spot. Gallant posted a 118-75-20 (.601) overall record with the Golden Knights and reached the playoffs in each of his two full seasons since taking the helm.

He led Vegas to the Stanley Cup Finals in the franchise's expansion season and was named the NHL's Coach of the Year.

Given how many of those victories came against the Sharks, they might want to consider what Gallant could do in San Jose. In the 12 regular-season encounters between the Sharks and Golden Knights since the start of the 2017-18 season, Vegas has prevailed eight times, outscored the Sharks 45-26 and only lost once in regulation.

The playoff encounters have been more even, with each side winning one postseason series over the other. But it's worth noting that in San Jose's series victory, the Sharks initially trailed three games to one.

In general terms, the Golden Knights have tended to have the upper hand over the Sharks since they arrived in the Pacific Division. From a stylistic perspective, Vegas' speed and effectiveness on the counter-attack always has seemed to cause San Jose trouble. One would deduce that Gallant installed that playing style, and he could do the same in his next stop -- wherever that might be.

Of course, the Sharks don't have a head-coaching opening at the moment. Well, not exactly. Bob Boughner was promoted to interim head coach upon DeBoer's firing, and while San Jose has taken a step forward since the coaching change, the remainder of the regular season will be a critical evaluation period for Sharks general manager Doug Wilson.

If the team nosedives toward the end of the season, that might be enough to create an opening.

[RELATED: Sharks' Thornton, Boughner react to DeBoer coaching Vegas]

Gallant is sure to be in high demand this coming offseason, and that's assuming he's not hired by another team before then. The Sharks don't yet know if they'll need to find a new head coach this summer, but given the thorn he was in their side, Gallant might deserve a good, hard look.

Joe Thornton, Bob Boughner react to Peter DeBoer joining Golden Knights

Joe Thornton, Bob Boughner react to Peter DeBoer joining Golden Knights

The news that former San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer would be the Vegas Golden Knights' new successor left many scratching their heads.

The Knights dismissed coach Gerrard Gallant and assistant Mike Kelly on Wednesday. While a lot of us found out via social media -- some of the players didn't know quite off the bat.

Sharks alternate captain Joe Thornton was asked by teammate Evander Kane if he had heard the news about their former coach going to Vegas.

Thornton hadn't heard anything, but told The Athletic's Kevin Kurz he knew the Knights were getting "a really good coach."

When DeBoer was relieved of his Sharks' duties back in December following a tough start to the season, Bob Boughner took over responsibilities as San Jose's interim head coach.

He also reacted to the news.

"Everybody's phones just started going off," Boughner told the San Jose Mercury's Curtis Pashelka. "Obviously happy for Pete. I think it's going to be a great spot for him. I knew it was just a matter of time.

"I didn't know if he was going to wait until the summer and take a few months, but when an opportunity like that comes up, him considering taking it is very understandable."

[RELATED: Couture describes challenging first year as captain]

It appears waiting wasn't DeBoer's strong suit.

The Knights fired Gallant on the heels of a four-game losing streak, and in a statement said the DeBoer hire was "in order for the team to reach its full potential."