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Devils Hire DeBoer As Head Coach

The New Jersey Devils named Peter DeBoer their head coach today.

DeBoer spent the last three seasons as the Florida Panthers head coach. He compiled a 103-107-36 record, and never reached the playoffs. Last season, the team finished last in the Eastern Conference with a 30-42-12 record. He led the Panthers to a 93 point season in 2008-09, but lost a tiebreaker to the Montreal Canadiens to miss the postseason.

The hiring ends weeks of speculation about the team's new coach. Several names, including former NHL head coaches Ken Hitchcock and Michel Therien, were mentioned as possible candidates.

DeBoer interviewed twice with Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello. He was hired this morning and has not announced his assistants.

Before coaching in the NHL, DeBoer coached the Kitchner Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League for seven years (2001-2008). Devils right-winger David Clarkson played for DeBoer from 2002 to 2005.

DeBoer will be the seventh head coach for the Devils since the lockout. Only Brent Sutter lasted more than one season.

The Devils were the last team in the league to fill their head coaching vacancy. The position opened on April 10, when Jacques Lemaire announced his retirement.