Vegas Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer hasn't been with his new team for long, but he can already tell he has a special group in front of him.
"It's the most talented team I've had in my coaching career I've walked into," DeBoer said on Daren Millard's "The Chirp." "It seems like a great combination of talent and character and leadership. Great community, great ownership, great management.
"I think you coach in this league for opportunities like this, with teams like this. I'm really thankful for how everything played out this year, as tough as some of the moments were."
The San Jose Sharks fired DeBoer in December after a middling start to the 2019-20 season. A month later, the division-rival Golden Knights made him their new head coach.
Vegas has gone 15-5-2 - including an eight-game win streak - since DeBoer's debut Jan. 16. They sat in first place in the Pacific Division when the season was paused on March 12.
After spending over four seasons with the Sharks, which included a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, DeBoer saw his surprise firing as a sign of better things to come.
"I'm a big believer that everything in hockey happens for a reason," DeBoer said. "One door closing, the way that my career has gone, there's always been another door opens with a better opportunity. For me, as tough as it was to leave San Jose 33 games after going to the Conference Final the year before - for me, the Vegas situation is an opportunity of a lifetime."
DeBoer has been a head coach in the NHL since the 2008-09 season when he started with the Florida Panthers. Before arriving in San Jose, he had a stint with the New Jersey Devils, whom he also led to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012. Overall, he's compiled a 430-334-113 record.