Steve Yzerman’s list of Detroit Red Wings coaching candidates has not leaked. But the list of possible options changes daily.
Yzerman’s former Detroit Red Wings’ teammate Lane Lambert was believed to be someone he wanted to interview. Now, there’s no chance of that because he was hired as the New York Islanders’ head coach.
Last week, the Islanders fired Barry Trotz. Lane Lambert was Trotz’s right-hand man and one of the NHL’s most respected assistant coaches.
But Lambert’s place on Detroit’s list of potential coaching candidates can be taken by Pete DeBoer. He was fired Monday by the Vegas Golden Knights because they missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
“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,” Vegas general manager Kelly 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.”
DeBoer, 53, is 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 Golden Knights, Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks are looking for a head coach. The Blackhawks say interim coach Derek King could be hired permanently.
Trotz to Vegas?
If you are compiling a list of potential Vegas candidates, start with Trotz. The Golden Knights lost to Trotz’s Washington Capitals in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. The Golden Knights understand the impact Trotz had on pushing the Capitals to the highest level. Could he do that with the Golden Knights?
DeBoer’s attraction to the Red Wings would be that he is a veteran coach, with a reputation for running a structured program and a background in teaching younger players. He also has roots in Michigan. After playing for the Windsor Spitfires, he ended up as an assistant coach for the Detroit Junior Red Wings in the Ontario Hockey League and then head coach after it became the Detroit Whalers. Eventually, it became the Plymouth Whalers.
DeBoer also holds a law degree from the University of Windsor and University of Detroit as a graduate of the dual Doctor of Law program.
DeBoer has coached the Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks and Golden Knights. He took the Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016. They lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He also guided the New Jersey Devils to the 2012 final, where they were beaten by the Los Angeles Kings. He has coached in 1,015 NHL regular-season games owns a record of 513-379-123.