Pete DeBoer’s time as head coach of the Devils ice hockey team is over. The New Jersey Devils have fired coach Pete DeBoer after three-plus seasons, the team announced Friday. Over the past 15 seasons, the Devils have made a league high 13 coaching changes.
DeBoer’s tenure with the Devils got off to a rousing start when the team reached the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 2003 in his first season in New Jersey. The Devils were eventually knocked off by the Los Angeles Kings in six games.
From there, it was downhill with the Devils missing the postseason each of the next two seasons. This season, the Devils have gone 12-17-7, which is the 3rd worst mark in the Eastern Conference. New Jersey currently sits nine points back of a playoff spot.
While the results simply haven’t been there, there was also plenty of bad luck on DeBoer’s side. Team captain Zach Parise unexpectedly departed for Minnesota after the 2012 season, and superstar Ilya Kovalchuk abruptly retired from the NHL following the 2013 season.
Parise and Kovalchuk were supposed to be the centerpieces of the Devils for years, but it quickly dissipated and the team has yet to recover. Goalie Cory Schneider has also not lived up to the expectations that surrounded him.
Whoever replaces DeBoer as head coach will have a tall task on their hands revamping a roster that does not have the necessary talent to make serious noise in the Eastern Conference.