|New Panthers Head Coach Peter DeBoer (Getty Images) |
SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin announced today that Peter DeBoer has been named the 10th head coach in the club’s history. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. A formal press conference will be held on Monday, June 16 at 11 a.m. at the BankAtlantic Center when DeBoer will be officially introduced.
DeBoer, 40, guided the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) to a 53-11-0-4 mark last season, claiming the OHL Championship, before falling to the Spokane Chiefs in the Memorial Cup finals. DeBoer’s Kitchener club held the No. 1 spot as the top junior team in Canada for 15 weeks.
“I am very excited about getting the opportunity to coach the Florida Panthers,” said DeBoer. “I am looking forward to the challenge of guiding this franchise back to the playoffs and to putting a team on the ice that our fans in South Florida can be proud of.”
“Peter was our top candidate to fill the coaching vacancy and we are very pleased that he has decided to join our organization,” said Martin. “He is a great hockey mind who will guide our team to the next level. He has been very successful in the junior ranks and I am confident that he will help our franchise accomplish its goals.”
During his seven year tenure with Kitchener, DeBoer earned 297 wins with a .676 winning percentage, while guiding his club to the 2003 Memorial Cup title. This past season, DeBoer earned his 500th OHL win, joining only five other OHL coaches to reach this milestone. Throughout his tenure in junior hockey he has coached a number of current NHL players as well as Panthers C Stephen Weiss
(Plymouth), LW Gregory Campbell (Kitchener) and Panthers prospect LW Mike Duco (Kitchener).
The Dunnville, Ontario native has amassed 539 OHL wins while coaching the Detroit Whalers (1995-97), Plymouth Whalers (1997-2001) and the Kitchener Rangers (2001-08), earning OHL Coach of the Year honors in 1999 and 2000. DeBoer was also named the 2000 Canadian Hockey League Coach of the Year. He was also a member of the coaching staff on Team Canada’s 2005 Gold Medal winning junior team.
DeBoer, a 12th round selection of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1988, played two seasons professionally with the Milwaukee Admirals (IHL). He holds a law degree from the University of Windsor/University of Detroit. Peter and his wife Susan, have one daughter Abigail and two sons Jack and Matthew.
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