By: Joe Lami
On Thursday, the San Jose Sharks named Peter DeBoer as their ninth coach in franchise history. The announcement follows a massive coaching search after a mutual split with Todd McLellan, who has since been named the head coach for the Edmonton Oilers.
DeBoer has prior NHL coaching experience, spending six and a half years with both the Florida Panthers and the New Jersey Devils. He has a record of 217-200-77 in nearly 500 games behind the bench.
DeBoer has only reached the NHL playoffs once. In 2012, he led the Devils to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they eventually fell in five games by the Los Angeles Kings. It was worth noting that former Sharks’ assistant coach and current director of player development Larry Robinson was an assistant with DeBoer that season.
DeBoer also guided the 2008-09 Florida Panthers to their second best point total in franchise history. The team finished with 93 points (41-30-11), but that was good enough for just ninth place in the Eastern Conference, losing the tiebreaker to the Montreal Canadiens, who finished with the same record.
DeBoer fits the system San Jose is trying to build their team, and is a puck possession type of coach. He is also said to have the perfect combination of being able to teach the younger players and being a dominant force in the locker room for the older veterans.
Prior to coaching in the NHL, DeBoer coached 13 seasons in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He coached the Kitchener Rangers to two Memorial Cup births in 2003 and 2008, but only took home the cup in 2003. The 2008 season was one of the best regular seasons in OHL history, as they finished 53-11-4, before being ousted in the Memorial Cup Final.
It is also worth noting that DeBoer guided Team Canada to World Championship gold this year, as an assistant to McLellan.