The 2019-20 National Hockey League season will go down as the year of the coach, or coaching exits to be more accurate.
The wackiness continued Wednesday when the Vegas Golden Knights shockingly announced the firing of their first head coach, Gerard Gallant, who lead the team to the Stanley Cup final in their inaugural season two years ago and was named the NHL’s coach of the year as a result.
The Knights have lost four games in a row and are sitting just outside the Western Conference wild card race but at the same time they are just three points out of first place in the Pacific Division.
Gallant was also supposed to coach the Pacific Division team at next week’s All-Star Game and so now the league will have to find someone else to take over that duty.
“In order for our team to reach its full potential, we determined a coaching change was necessary,” said Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon.
Stepping in for Gallant is Peter DeBoer, who was fired by the San Jose Sharks on Dec. 11.
Gallant’s dismissal is the seventh in-season coaching change this year and the league has just passed its midway point of the regular season.
All but two of the seven coaching changes this year are tied to their team’s performance, which begs the question, are many of these moves being made because NHL general managers and owners are too impatient with the fortunes of their franchises?
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