After missing playoffs, Golden Knights fire coach Peter DeBoer


A couple weeks after the Golden Knights missed the playoffs despite going all-in, Peter DeBoer is no longer their head coach. The Golden Knights “relieved DeBoer of his duties” on Monday.

The most interesting part of a canned quote from GM Kelly McCrimmon was probably ” … 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.”

Golden Knights fire DeBoer after missing playoffs; Run ended with Lehner rift

Again, most pressingly, Peter DeBoer couldn’t navigate a season filled with injuries to at least get the Golden Knights to the playoffs.

While there were some NHL teams hit harder by injuries by sheer volume, the Golden Knights saw key losses with Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and others. They also traded for Jack Eichel in-season, realizing that he was still recovering from neck surgery.

Eventually, that injury bug bit Robin Lehner.

That’s where things got stranger, and uglier for DeBoer and the Golden Knights. Near the end of the season, it appeared that Lehner wasn’t happy with criticism of his performance, as he was playing hurt.

That eventually led to an odd back-and-forth between Lehner and DeBoer in the media. Ultimately, the big goalie was shut down for the remainder of the season.

It’s unclear how much DeBoer’s brusque handling of Lehner factored into the Golden Knights firing him. Personally, it felt like it made a murky decision feel almost inevitable.

Quite a bit of success under DeBoer

Memorably, the Golden Knights hired DeBoer in-season in early 2020 despite Gerard Gallant enjoying pretty incredible big-picture success. That move helped shape the image of Vegas as a franchise that was cutthroat in chasing a Stanley Cup. Successful wasn’t always a high enough standard.

Right now, it’s still unclear if that knee-jerk reaction was the right one.

Take a look at DeBoer’s year-by-year results as Golden Knights head coach:

Remainder of 2019-20: 15-5-2 (.727 points percentage), won two playoff series.
2020-21: 40-14-2 (.732 points percentage), won two playoff series.
2021-22: 43-32-8 (.573 points percentage), missed playoffs.

A less reactive team might give this another go. After all, the Golden Knights barely missed the playoffs with all of those injuries.

But, if there’s a more reactive NHL franchise than the Golden Knights, then the list is short.

It will be fascinating to see A) who the Golden Knights hire as their next head coach and B) if DeBoer gets another top gig in the NHL. DeBoer’s enjoyed some highs and lows with four different coaching jobs, but interestingly has only coached a team for five seasons or less.

Big test for Vegas management coming — assuming they’re still in charge

Over the years, the Golden Knights have been ruthless in moving on from popular, productive players to try to get even better. They haven’t accepted stumbles from their coaches. Thus far, the top of their front office has been safe from such bottom-line decisions.

As a reminder, they didn’t fire George McPhee; he was essentially elevated, while Kelly McCrimmon ascended to GM.

No doubt, that front office enjoyed a ton of success. Really, they probably set the bar unfairly high for Ron Francis and the Seattle Kraken.

Still, they’ve made their mistakes. For all of the Golden Knights’ successes, they’ve mostly relied on free agents and trades, rather than in-house development. When it comes to choosing which prospects to grow, and which to trade, there have been blunders. Notably, the Golden Knights chose to trade current Habs star Nick Suzuki instead of project-at-best Cody Glass in the Max Pacioretty swap.

For every splashy move that was a huge success (Pacioretty, Stone), there were moves that were either whiffs, or still need to be determined.

So far, Lehner hasn’t been the Fleury upgrade they hoped for.

More quietly but just as alarmingly, it’s possible the Alex Pietrangelo investment might be shaky. Consider his underlying numbers via Evolving Hockey:

In sweatily grasping at bringing a Stanley Cup to the desert, Golden Knights management started to stack up gambles that got them in trouble.

[Other coaching news: Islanders name longtime Trotz assistant Lambert as head coach]

Sure, there were logistical reasons for why the Evgenii Dadonov trade didn’t happen. But it’s on Vegas management for relying so much on LTIR and other maneuvers to barely remain technically salary-cap-compliant.

It’s the sort of thing that might get a GM fired, at least if a franchise wants to show that everyone faces such extreme accountability. That hasn’t happened.

At least, so far. If you’re like me, you raised an eyebrow at former player Deryk Engelland representing the Golden Knights at the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery.

Assuming the Golden Knights give McCrimmon + McPhee another shot, they have their work cut out for them this offseason.

Right now, the Golden Knights are already projected by Cap Friendly to scratch the ceiling of the salary cap. And that’s assuming they allow free agents such as Reilly Smith to walk.

Will a revised Dadonov trade happen? With a cramped salary cap situation, how will the Golden Knights improve?

Oh, and of course: who should be the next head coach? For a team that loves collecting big names, maybe the reflex answer is Barry Trotz. But would Trotz’s all-encompassing defensive style mesh well with the roster at hand?

And, once more: should McCrimmon and McPhee make that call? Even those who question DeBoer’s coaching would admit that this failed Golden Knights season wasn’t just his fault.

Coyotes minority owner suspended by NHL following arrest

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NEW YORK — Arizona Coyotes minority owner Andrew Barroway was suspended indefinitely by the NHL on Friday following his arrest for domestic violence in Colorado.

Online court records show Barroway was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of second-degree assault strangulation, a felony, and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. He appeared in court Friday to be advised of the possible charges he is facing and is scheduled to back in court on April 3.

Barroway spent Thursday night in Pitkin County Jail after police arrested him at an Aspen hotel, according to a police report obtained by the Aspen Daily News.

“The National Hockey League is aware of the arrest of Arizona Coyotes’ minority owner Andrew Barroway,” the NHL said in a statement. “Pending further information, he has been suspended indefinitely.”

The 57-year-old Barroway was arrested after a verbal altercation with his wife turned physical, according to the police report. He is prohibited from having contact with his wife, except when it involves their children, and can’t consume alcohol under a court order.

A prominent hedge fund manager, Barroway owns 5% of the Coyotes.

“We are aware of the allegation regarding Mr. Barroway and we are working with the League to gather more information,” the Coyotes said in a statement. “When we have enough information, we will have an appropriate response. Until the investigation is complete, we will have no further comment.”

Blue Jackets’ Patrik Laine out 2-4 weeks with triceps injury

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine is out 2-4 weeks after straining a triceps muscle in practice, yet another blow to the last-place team in the NHL that has been hampered by injuries all season.

The Blue Jackets announced Laine’s absence before their home game against the New York Islanders.

They already have 454 man-games lost to injury, one of the highest numbers in the league, and have a record of 22-41-7.

Laine missed two separate stints with elbow and ankle injuries in the fall. The 24-year-old Finn is the team’s second-leading scorer with 52 points in 55 games.

Columbus has been top defenseman Zach Werenski since November because of a torn labrum and separated shoulder. Forward Sean Kuraly recently went on injured reserve with a strained left oblique muscle but is set to return Friday.

Tortorella earns 700th career win, Flyers top Wild 5-4

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PHILADELPHIA — John Tortorella needed one word to sum up if 700 career wins meant anything to the Flyers coach.


OK, then. Good thing the brusque Stanley Cup winner isn’t paid by the word.

James van Riemsdyk scored the only goal in a shootout, and Philadelphia beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4 on Thursday night for Tortorella’s 700th victory.

Tortorella is 700-573-181 in 1,454 games as an NHL head coach. His 700 wins rank 12th in NHL history and his career games rank ninth in NHL history. He led Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup in 2004. In his first season coaching the Flyers, Tortorella joined Peter Laviolette as the second American-born coach to win 700 games.

“I think the culture’s kind of changed around here,” Flyers forward Joel Farabee said. “I think he’s done a really good job of keeping the group together.”

Farabee, Scott Laughton, Rasmus Ristolainen and Tyson Foerster scored for Philadelphia. The Flyers have two straight games for the first time since Jan. 9-14 when they won three straight. Yeah, it’s been that kind of season.

“Farabee’s starting to pop, he’s looking real good. Tyson is looking real good,” Flyers defenseman Tony DeAngelo said. “This is all about laying the foundation for next year but we get a lot of money to do this job. It’s something we love, so we’re gonna go out and give it our best every night.”

Matt Boldy had two goals for the Wild, and Oskar Sundqvist and Marcus Foligno also scored.

“We weren’t very good. They were good,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “We knew they were playing well, they played well tonight. We were loose. We were not firm, turnovers, it didn’t look like our hockey club.”

The Flyers and Wild were tied 1-all at the end of the first period, 3-3 at the end of the second and 4-4 headed into OT.

The rebuilding Flyers have been plucky of late. They had won two of three coming into the game, with the lone loss in overtime. They showed some of that grit in the final two periods, scoring late tying goals.

“It’s a credit to their group, to their coaching staff, that they’ve got them playing the right way,” Evason said.

Boldy poked a backhander past Carter Hart with 6:28 left for a 4-3 lead. The Flyers, playing more for the No. 1 pick and for pride, tied the game on Foerster’s second goal of the season.

Farabee tipped in Cam York’s shot early in the second for a 2-1 lead.

The Wild got going when Boldy ripped one top shelf past Hart for his 24th goal of the season that tied the game 2-all. Foligno scored his seventh goal for the 3-2 lead.

Ristolainen buried a hard slapper from the blue line on the power play for the tying goal with 23 seconds left in the second.

“I think it’s good to try to lay this foundation, kind of get ready for next year. You see guys getting confidence,” DeAngelo said.

The Flyers only played ahead in the first period.

Laughton scored off the rush for his 17th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead. Sundqvist celebrated his birthday with a deflection for the tying goal with 3:24 left in the period.

The Flyers had been one of the lowest-scoring teams in the NHL until the start of this seven-game homestand (3-2 so far). They have scored at least three goals in every game and at least four in the last four.

“We have definitely gotten to the net better,” Tortorella said. “We have spent a lot of time on the ice and with tape as far as getting to that area.”


Wild: Host Chicago on Saturday.

Flyers: Host Detroit on Saturday.

Crosby reaches 30-goal mark, Penguins knock off Avalanche 5-2

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DENVER – Sidney Crosby wasn’t even aware of reaching yet another milestone. He’s simply locked in on helping the Pittsburgh Penguins make a 17th straight postseason appearance.

Jeff Carter had a pair of goals, Crosby scored on a nifty backhand shot in the second period to reach the 30-goal mark for an 11th season and the Penguins beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2.

Crosby moved into a tie with Hall-of-Fame center Mario Lemieux for the most 30-goal seasons in Penguins history. Another milestone reached – it came as news to him.

“I think the most important thing for me is just try to be consistent and if that reflects that great,” said Crosby, who turns 36 in August.

Even more, Crosby’s the first player in league history to post a 30-goal campaign at 18 years old and again when he was 35-plus, according to NHL Stats.

“It means I’ve been in the league for a while,” Crosby cracked. “That’s been the thing that’s driven me since since I got into the league – in your first year, you want to prove that you belong. Even at 35, I still think you want to prove you belong, because it is a younger league.”

Jake Guentzel also scored and Bryan Rust added an empty-net goal for the Penguins, who snapped a four-game slide and moved back into a wild-card spot in the East.

“It’s definitely a big one for us, for sure,” Guentzel said. “Defending champs, coming to their building, you know how good they are. Top to bottom, we defended hard and that’s what we have to do at this time of the year.”

Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry stopped 28 shots in improving to 11-4 this season against teams from the Western Conference.

J.T. Compher and Devon Toews had goals for the Avalanche, whose six-game winning streak was halted. Nathan MacKinnon had an assist to extend his home points streak to 18 games.

It was a missed opportunity for Colorado, which could’ve pulled into a three-way tie with Dallas and Minnesota in the Central Division with a victory.

“We knew they were going to play with urgency,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “But I didn’t feel like there was any reason why we couldn’t, either. … We didn’t get it done. Hopefully we get another one.”

Alexandar Georgiev made 40 saves, including several critical ones in a second period controlled by the Penguins, who outshot the Avalanche by a 21-9 margin. It could’ve been more than a 3-1 deficit heading into the third period.

Toews’ power-play goal made it 3-2 with 9:32 remaining. But Carter wrapped up the win with his first multigoal game in the regular season since Jan. 11, 2022.

“I’m thrilled for him. We’re all thrilled,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Carter. “He cares about the Penguins. He wants to win, and he wants to contribute in helping us win so we couldn’t be happier for him.”


Bednar was appreciative of the three-year extension he signed Tuesday that goes through the 2026-27 season. In his seventh season, he’s the third-longest tenured coach in the NHL behind Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper (March 2013) and Sullivan (December 2015).

“It’s not a forgiving league or sport, for the most part, but obviously that’s part of the reason why I’m so grateful and thankful,” Bednar said. “Because there were times over my tenure that got a little hairy and management could have made another decision. But obviously they didn’t.”


Avalanche D Cale Makar missed a second straight game with a lower body injury. “I still have him as day-to-day,” Bednar said. … F Darren Helm returned after missing 64 of 69 games this season with a lower-body injury. … Penguins D Jeff Petry (upper body) skated in the morning but sat out his third straight game. … The Penguins are 11-1 against the Central Division this season. … Penguins standout Evgeni Malkin assisted on Guentzel’s goal to reach the 50-assist mark for a seventh time in his career.


Penguins: At Dallas on Thursday night.

Avalanche: Host Arizona on Friday night.