Devils name DeBoer as new head coach

NEW YORK Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:47pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New Jersey Devils named Peter DeBoer as their new head coach on Tuesday.

DeBoer, a former Florida Panthers coach, replaced Jacques Lemaire, who stepped down as Devils head coach at the end of the regular season in April.

Lemaire replaced first-year coach John MacLean in December and helped to turn around what was a dismal start to the NHL season but fell just short of making the playoffs.

The Devils had been the only National Hockey League (NHL) team without a head coach and DeBoer became the seventh man hired by Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello in the last seven seasons.

"Peter DeBoer is an individual who I have watched coach over the past two decades at the junior, international, and professional levels," Lamoriello said in a statement.

"His teams have always been well-prepared and disciplined, while maximizing their effort each and every night. I am looking forward to working with him."

DeBoer has served as a head coach for 16 consecutive seasons, including the past three at Florida, where he compiled a 103-107-36 record.

The 43-year-old has also served as assistant coach to the Canadian national team at last year's world championships in Germany.

(Writing by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Julian Linden)