DeBoer: Coaching Vegas 'like meeting an ex-girlfriend when it didn't end well'
Norm Hall / National Hockey League / Getty

Peter DeBoer admits it's been an awkward 24 hours as he transitions into his new role as head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights.

The former San Jose Sharks bench boss, who replaced Gerard Gallant on Wednesday, is just nine months removed from a bitter feud with Gallant and the Golden Knights stemming from the teams' opening-round playoff series last spring.

“It was a little shocking. But a good shock,” DeBoer said during Thursday's introductory press conference, according to TSN's Ian Mendes. He added: "We'll get through it. It'll be a little awkward - like meeting an ex-girlfriend when it didn't end well."

DeBoer accused Gallant of chirping at his players during last year's thrilling seven-game series. The latter responded by calling the former "a clown" for making such claims.

The ongoing feud between Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves and Sharks winger Evander Kane was also on full display during that series, and Reaves didn't downplay his rocky history with DeBoer.

"I wouldn't say I have the best track record with him," Reaves said, according to TSN's Brent Wallace. "I'm going to have to have a smile when I introduce myself, for sure, maybe a hug."

Reaves continued: "We are going to move forward and listen to what he has to say and embrace the change."

Sharks forward Timo Meier admitted Wednesday "it's going to be weird" facing Vegas with DeBoer behind the bench, and teammate Tomas Hertl called the development "kind of shocking."

DeBoer will make his debut behind the Golden Knights' bench Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators. Barring a playoff matchup, Vegas and San Jose won't meet until next season after already facing each other four times in 2019-20.

DeBoer: Coaching Vegas 'like meeting an ex-girlfriend when it didn't end well'
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