- The Vegas Golden Knights fired coach Gerard Gallant on Wednesday and replaced him with former Sharks coach Peter DeBoer
- The Golden Knights have lost four games in a row
- Vegas’ odds to win the Pacific Division title have sunk to +325 at Bovada, behind the Arizona Coyotes (+275)
Wednesday’s dismissal Gerard Gallant by the Vegas Golden Knights emphasized exactly how much the NHL operates as a day-to-day business.
Gallant took the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup final as a first-year expansion team in 2017-18. Last season, they lost a seven-game first-round playoff series to the San Jose Sharks, in part due to a questionable major penalty that was called during Game 7.
This season, all it took for the Golden Knights to show Gallant the door was a four-game losing streak that dropped Vegas to ninth overall in the West, out of a playoff spot.
Oddly enough, the benefactor of Gallant’s departure is former Sharks coach Peter DeBoer, fired earlier this season by San Jose.
Long favored to win the Pacific, Vegas now sits at +325 odds in Bovada’s Pacific Division odds, trailing the division-leading Arizona Coyotes and level with the Calgary Flames.
2020 NHL Pacific Division Odds
|Team||Odds at Bovada|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+325|
|San Jose Sharks||+2800|
|Los Angeles Kings||+50000|
Odds taken Jan. 15
Vegas is currently out of the final Western Conference playoff spot via a tiebreaker. Sitting fifth in the division, the Golden Knights are just three points behind Arizona.
Gallant A Short-Term Fix?
This is Gallant’s third NHL coaching stint. In all three jobs, he was fired during his third season in charge.
In two and a half seasons Gerard Gallant was 118-75-20. That is 9th most points in NHL. For an EXPANSION TEAM.
And he is fired today. Crazy. Absolutely nuts. #NHL
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) January 15, 2020
The Columbus Blue Jackets sent Gallant packing 15 games into the 2006-07 season. The Florida Panthers fired him 22 games into the 2016-17 campaign and fresh off a first-place finish in the Atlantic Division the season prior. He lasted 49 games this season before Vegas pulled the trigger.
Gallant spent a portion of his NHL career playing in Detroit for Jacques Demers, another coach infamous for getting the most out of his team at the start of his tenure behind the bench, and then steadily fading.
DeBoer A Strong Starter
Vegas is the fourth NHL stop for DeBoer. In each of his three previous stints, his club got off to fantastic starts.
Curious how much Gerard Gallant's firing had to do with Peter DeBoer's availability. And now, what Gallant's availability will mean to the job security of another coach. Crazy business.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) January 15, 2020
With the Panthers in 2008-09, Florida won 41 games, the team’s best season in nearly a decade. In 2011-12, his first season with New Jersey Devils, DeBoer took the Devils to the Stanley Cup final. He also guided the Sharks to the Cup final in 2015-16, his first campaign in charge in San Jose.
Both the Devils and Sharks lost those Cup final series in six games.
Well, That’s Awkward
Gallant was slated to coach the Western Conference in next week’s NHL All-Star Game. Is he fired from that job as well?
I would think having Rick Tocchet replace Gerard Gallant as Pacific Division all-star coach makes the most sense. Arizona has spent lots of time in first place of the division this year.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) January 15, 2020
During last season’s playoff series with the Sharks, Gallant called DeBoer a clown.
April 2019: Gerard Gallant calls Pete DeBoer a “clown”
January 2020: Gerard Gallant is replaced by… Pete DeBoer
— Brodie Brazil (@BrodieNBCS) January 15, 2020
That clown now has Gallant’s job.
Pacific Is Wide Open
There’s no contender in the Pacific with a lengthy track record of success.
The Coyotes haven’t reached the playoffs since 2011-12. The Flames, last season’s champs, are rebounding after a slow start and their own coaching change. The Edmonton Oilers are erratic and the Vancouver Canucks are young and unproven.
Fired this NHL season
All of whom have won or lost in Stanley Cup Final.
Pressure has never been more intense in the NHL.
— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) January 15, 2020
The Golden Knights are right in the thick of this race. Based on his track record, DeBoer might just provide the bump they need to make an upward move. At +325, Vegas is worth a play.
Pick: Vegas Golden Knights (+325)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.