Devils name Pete DeBoer head coach

Pete DeBoer will be back behind an NHL bench for the 2011-12 season as the New Jersey Devils have named him head coach. DeBoer beat out several candidates that were believed to have been in the running for the position, including Guy Carbonneau, Michel Therrien, Ken Hitchcock, and Mike Eaves. DeBoer’s last head coaching gig was with the Florida Panthers, whom he helped to a 41-30-11 record in 2008-09 before being relieved of his duties following back-to-back losing seasons in 2009-10 and again last season.

DeBoer becomes the 16th coach in Devils history, picking up the duties from the departed Jacques Lemaire. Lemaire took over coaching duties after John MacLean was fired last December.

With a career 103-107-36 coaching record in the NHL, DeBoer will look to make the playoffs for the first time with the Devils. He will have a better foundation in place for success than what he was left to work with in Florida over the past three years. DeBoer will be reunited with David Clarkson in New Jersey, whom he coached in Kitchener of the OHL when the Rangers claimed the Memorial Cup in 2003.

A press conference to make DeBoer’s hiring official is set for 3:30 PM ET.