The Dallas Stars are facing the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2023 Western Conference Finals. This latest matchup in the Stanley Cup Playoffs could be a bit personal for Stars head coach Pete DeBoer.
DeBoer’s Stars defeated the Seattle Kraken in Game 7 of their second-round matchup on Monday night. Dallas is making their first Western Conference Finals appearance since 2020.
The interesting thing about this matchup is that DeBoer’s last job was coaching the Golden Knights. Vegas fired DeBoer last season after the team missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
When asked about this meeting with his former team, the Stars head coach provided an honest take. “There’s a lot to unpack there,” he said. “Just enjoy tonight and talk about that as we go forward.”
DeBoer joined the Golden Knights during the 2019-20 season after being fired by the San Jose Sharks. The veteran bench boss led Vegas to two appearances as in the Conference Finals/Semi Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs his first two years. Ironically, he lost to the Stars in the 2020 Western Conference Finals.
DeBoer is no stranger to deep playoff runs. He led the New Jersey Devils to the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, and helped the Sharks make the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals. However, DeBoer was on the losing end of both matchups.
The Stars are searching for their first Stanley Cup championship since 1999. Meanwhile, the Golden Knights are looking for their first Cup in team history. Vegas made the Finals in their first year in existence, losing to the Washington Capitals.