Amid Four-Game Losing Streak, Golden Knights Fire Gallant, Hire DeBoer; Odds to Win Pacific Fall to +325

Gerard Gallant behind bench
Bovada lists the Vegas Golden Knights at odds of +325 to win the Pacific Division after the team fired coach Gerard Gallant on Wednesday and replaced him with Peter DeBoer. Photo by: Michael Miller (wikimedia commons).
  • 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
Arizona Coyotes +275
Vegas Golden Knights +325
Calgary Flames +325
Edmonton Oilers +450
Vancouver Canucks +450
San Jose Sharks +2800
Anaheim Ducks +25000
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.

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.

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?

During last season’s playoff series with the Sharks, Gallant called DeBoer a clown.

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.

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)

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