Golden Knights fire head coach Peter DeBoer after missing playoffs

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Vegas Golden Knights have fired coach Peter DeBoer after they missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

General manager Kelly McCrimmon made the announcement Monday and thanked DeBoer for his work with the organization.

“Since joining the organization, Pete and his staff have guided us through some of the most unique and challenging circumstances we’ve witnessed since our franchise entered the NHL,” McCrimmon said. “After lengthy discussions over the last two weeks, we believe that a new coach will put us in the best position to succeed next season.”

Vegas failed to qualify for the playoffs after a barrage of injuries compounded by salary cap problems wreaked havoc on the lineup, most notably in goal. The Golden Knights at one point were first in the Pacific Division but after 82 games found themselves three points back of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

DeBoer coached the Golden Knights for 2 1/2 seasons after being named in January 2020 to replace Gerard Gallant, who guided the team to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season in 2017-18. Under DeBoer, they reached the playoffs the previous two years and lost one round before the Stanley Cup Final each time.

He’s the fourth coach to lose his job since the regular season ended, joining Detroit’s Jeff Blashill, Philadelphia’s Mike Yeo and the New York Islanders’ Barry Trotz. The Islanders on Monday named longtime Trotz assistant Lane Lambert as his replacement.

Vegas joins the list of vacancies, which also includes Winnipeg and Chicago: teams that are not expected to bring back interim coaches.