DeBoer hired as Stars coach to replace Bowness

Peter DeBoer was hired as coach of the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

The 54-year-old replaces Rick Bowness, who resigned May 20 after three seasons.

“I want to win a Stanley Cup,” DeBoer said Wednesday. “I’ve been to two (Stanley Cup) Finals and five conference finals in the last 10 years. When you get that close, that’s your only motivation. Dallas wasn’t the only team I interviewed with. I wanted to make sure that Wherever I chose to go next, that the only criteria for me was: that I was working with good people, and that I had a chance to win a Stanley Cup.

DeBoer coached the previous three seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights before being fired May 16. The Golden Knights (43-31-8) finished three points behind the Nashville Predators for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference, missing the postseason for the first time since joining the NHL as an expansion team in 2017-18.

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The Golden Knights were 98-50-12 under DeBoer, who was hired to replace Gerard Gallant on Jan. 15, 2020. He led them to the Western Conference Final in 2020, when they lost in five games to the Stars, and the Stanley Cup Semifinals in 2021, when they were upset by the Montreal Canadiens in six games.

“Pete brings a wealth of experience to our dressing room, and we’re thrilled to name him our next head coach,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said. “Every team that he has taken over has not only shown immediate improvement but has been ultracompetitive in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. … His resume displays the high standards he sets and his ability to get his team to play up to that level consistently.

“In the end, when you get somebody with this much experience, it was all about the fit for us. Where our team is at, the transition to younger players, the experienced players here.”

DeBoer is 513-379-123 in 14 NHL seasons with the Golden Knights, San Jose Sharks, New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers. He is also 68-55 in the playoffs, including leading New Jersey to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012, when he lost to the Los Angeles Kings in six games, and guiding San Jose to the Cup Final in 2016, when he lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.

“It was a very extensive interview process with Jim and his group and (Stars owner) Tom [Gaglardi],” DeBoer said. “The more layers I peeled back, as I dove into the organization, the more excited I got. The veterans here, the leadership, but also the layers of young guys coming and the potential of this group going forward. Replacing a guy, I’d be remiss without acknowledging it, who is one of the most respected guys in NHL hockey in Rick Bowness. Great man, great person, great coach. Big shoes to fill, so I’m excited to get to work.”

The Stars (46-30-6) were the first wild card into the playoffs from the West this season and lost in the first round to the Calgary Flames in seven games.

Forward Joe Pavelskiwho led the Stars with 81 points (27 goals, 54 assists) this season, played under DeBoer with the Sharks for four seasons from 2015-19.

“He was my captain in San Jose,” DeBoer said. “Just have a tremendous amount of respect for him, not just as a player, but as a person, as a family man. He’s one of those special players. He’s going to go down as one of the all-time best American players ever.” I feel fortunate that our paths are going to cross again.”

Nill said he asked Pavelski for his opinion on DeBoer prior to the hire. Pavelski signed a one-year contract March 11 to remain with the Stars next season.

“When we did our research, we dug deep,” Nill said. “I respect Joe Pavelski so much, that his opinion. … he cares about this team. He wants to win. That’s why he stayed here, he signed with us. So it was no secret I was going to talk to him. Everything he said is what I wanted to hear. Joe did have a big part of some of the information that we received.”

DeBoer is one if five coaches to be hired since the conclusion of the regular season. Lane Lambert was hired by the New York Islanders on May 16, Bruce Cassidy replaced DeBoer as coach of the Golden Knights on June 17, John Tortorella was hired by the Philadelphia Flyers on June 17, and Paul Maurice was hired by the Florida Panthers on Wednesday .

The Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets are in the midst of coaching searches.

“When you step outside of this organization and you get a perspective from the outside, and you look at the drafting and the young talent coming and the blend of veterans and young guys, the future of this organization is real bright,” DeBoer said. independent correspondent Taylor Baird contributed to this report


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