After one Vegas Golden Knights coach tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of Tuesday’s game against the St. Louis Blues, Peter DeBoer and his staff were unable to come to the game due to contract tracing. GM Kelly McCrimmon served as the head coach and former Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward and defenseman Jamie Heward served as assistants behind the Golden Knights’ bench.
The Henderson Silver Knights, the Golden Knights’ AHL affiliate, hired Ward and Heyward as assistant coaches for their inaugural season on November 23.
Out of “an abundance of caution,” the Vegas Golden Knights will be isolating their coaches. GM Kelly McCrimmon will take over, likely with the team’s AHL staff. The Golden Knights host St. Louis tonight.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 26, 2021
Ward announced his retirement earlier this year after 726 career regular-season games with the Capitals, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, and San Jose Sharks. He recorded 57 goals, 121 points, and a +22 rating in 276 games with the Capitals from 2011-15.
Heward tallied 11 goals, 44 points, and a -1 rating in 123 games with the Capitals from 2005-2007. In 394 career games with the Capitals, Predators, Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Tampa Bay Lightning, he posted 38 goals, 124 points, and a -43 rating.
On June 8, 2020, Ward became an inaugural executive board member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, whose goal is to address intolerance and racism in hockey.
The Silver Knights are set to move to Southern Nevada after 18 seasons in San Antonio, where they were known as the Rampage, for their inaugural season in 2020-21.
Silver Knights head coach Manny Viveiros was the other assistant on McCrimmon’s staff on Tuesday.
The Golden Knights will host again the Blues on Thursday.
By Harrison Brown