Pete DeBoer responds to Sharks being kept out of San Jose for the time being – Marin Independent Journal

Pete DeBoer’s return to the SAP Center in San Jose has to wait.

The Sharks announced Saturday that they were moving their February 1-3 home games against the San Jose Vegas Golden Knights to the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, due to the ongoing ban on contact sports in Santa Clara County.

The next month, DeBoer and Steve Spott were back downtown for the first time since they were laid off, along with Dave Barr and Johan Hedberg, on December 11, 2019 by Doug Wilson, the general manager of Sharks. Amazingly, just five weeks later on January 15, 2020, DeBoer was hired by rival Golden Knights after the team fired Gerard Gallant. Mockery was brought in from Vegas two weeks later.

The Sharks and Golden Knights no longer played against each other after this point, as the NHL paused its season on March 12th. The Sharks, who finished 15th and last at the Western Conference, weren’t part of the NHL Return to Play that summer. DeBoer and the Golden Knights lost to the Dallas Stars in the conference finals.

DeBoer coached the Sharks for more than four seasons, leading the team to a record 198-129-34, four direct playoff appearances, two conference finals, and his very first appearance in the Stanley Cup final in 2016.

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“For selfish reasons, I’m disappointed to have some good friends and fond memories in San Jose,” DeBoer told the Las Vegas beatwriters on Saturday. “I was looking forward to training in this building again at the beginning of the season. My selfish side says I obviously wish we would play these games in San Jose, as I sure do in San Jose.

“But common sense recognizes that it’s probably a wise choice by the people who do it, and we’ll make the most of it.”

The Golden Knights are expected to be back in San Jose for two games from March 5-6.

On Saturday, Vegas and Minnesota finished first in the West Division with 4-1-0 records. The Sharks (2-3-0) were in sixth place with Anaheim and Los Angeles. Sunday the Sharks play the wild and the Golden Knights play the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale.

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