Peter DeBoer’s Rise And Fall With The New Jersey Devils


Peter DeBoer‘s tenure as head coach of the New Jersey Devils has come to an end. After three and a half seasons with the team, general manager Lou Lamoriello has announced that a change at the head coaching position will be made.

DeBoer departs from New Jersey after posting a 114-93-41 record with the team, but just 66-66-35 in 167 games since the Devils’ improbable run to the Stanley Cup Finals in the spring of 2012, during DeBoer’s first season as New Jersey’s head coach, and just 4-26 in the shootout since the beginning of the 2012-13 season.

Let’s take a look back at DeBoer’s quick rise and long fall as the head coach of the New Jersey Devils:

Peter DeBoer’s Rise To The Top

July 19, 2011

The New Jersey Devils name DeBoer as the 21st head coach in franchise history.

October 5, 2011

Three days before the Devils are slated to begin their 2011-12 season, DeBoer names Zach Parise the ninth captain in franchise history.

April 7, 2012

The New Jersey Devils defeat the Ottawa Senators 4-2 on the regular season’s final day, improving their record to 48-28-6, finishing the regular season with 102 points and the Eastern Conference’s sixth seed for the playoffs.

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  • April 26, 2012

    The New Jersey Devils defeat the Florida Panthers 3-2 in double overtime in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to move on the Eastern Conference Semifinals and a matchup with division-rival Philadelphia.

    May 7, 2012

    The Devils defeat the Flyers 3-1 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, winning the series 4-1 and advancing to a rematch of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals with the New York Rangers.

    May 25, 2012

    Adam Henrique scores in overtime to lift the Devils to a 3-2 win over the Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, giving the Devils a 4-2 series victory – advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 2003.

    June 11, 2012

    The New Jersey Devils’ Cup dreams fall short, losing to the Los Angeles Kings 6-1 in Game 6 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, losing the series 4-2.

    Peter DeBoer’s Long Fall From Grace

    July 4, 2012

    Captain Zach Parise departs New Jersey as a free agent, signing a 13-year, $98 million contract with the Minnesota Wild.

    January 17, 2013

    DeBoer names Bryce Salvador the tenth captain in New Jersey Devils franchise history.

    April 27, 2013

    DeBoer’s Devils end an injury-plagued, lockout-shortened season with a record of 19-19-10, finishing last in the Atlantic Division and missing the playoffs for only the second time since the mid-1990s.

    June 30, 2013

    The Devils held the ninth pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, but traded the pick to Vancouver to acquire goaltender Cory Schneider.

    July 5, 2013

    David Clarkson departs New Jersey via free agency to sign a seven-year, $36.75 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    Moving quickly to replace Clarkson, the Devils signed oft-injured forward Ryane Clowe to a five-year, $25 million contract, as well as forward Michael Ryder to a two-year, seven million dollar contract.

    July 11, 2013

    Ilya Kovalchuk announces his sudden retirement from the National Hockey League, leaving the Devils to play in the Kontinental Hockey League in his home country of Russia.

    July 22, 2013

    Looking to replace Kovalchuk, the Devils sign Jaromir Jagr to a one year, two million dollar contract.

    September 24, 2013

    Trying to add additional scorers, New Jersey signs free agent forward Damien Brunner to a two-year, five million dollar contract.

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    April 13, 2014

    Martin Brodeur plays his final games during his illustrious tenure with the New Jersey Devils, but New Jersey finishes the season 35-29-18, missing the playoffs for a second straight season for the first time since the mid-1980s. The Devils finished the season losing every shootout they entered into.

    General manager Lou Lamoriello also announces DeBoer will return for the 2014-15 season.

    July 1, 2014

    Defenseman Mark Fayne, a mainstay on the Devils’ blue line, departs via free agency, signing a four-year, $14 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers.

    Moving quickly to add scoring help, the Devils signed forward Mike Cammalleri to a five-year, $25 million contract.

    December 26, 2014

    Following a 12-17-7 start and sitting in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division with 31 points, Lamoriello announces that DeBoer will be replaced as head coach of the New Jersey Devils.

    The End Result

    Peter DeBoer’s quick rise as a fan favorite absolutely was a result of the team’s run to the Stanley Cup Finals during the spring of 2012. But going 66-66-35 in two-plus seasons following that is a sure-fire way to fall out of favor with a fan-base that is accustomed to winning, and winning often.

    Have the Devils’ struggles over the past several season fallen squarely on DeBoer’s shoulders? The answer is no. Losing three thirty-goal scorers in a matter of one calendar year was a hit the New Jersey could not handle, despite the signings of Cammalleri, Jagr, Clowe and Ryder, with the latter two not living up to their expectations one bit.

    But when things go awry, the head coach is the first person to feel the wrath of a team’s misfortune. New Jersey’s situation was no different, and DeBoer ultimately paid the price.

    Stay with Pucks & Pitchforks for all Devils news and views.