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."
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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.