Maple Leafs Job Fair: Peter DeBoer’s Resume

The Leafs’ search for both a head coach and a general manger is heating up, and Peter DeBoer is among the names we know for a fact that the Leafs have at least some interest in.  The team has really beefed up their online security as a result of all these resume leaks that have been going on, but we put our nose to the grindstone and were able to bring home the bacon.  The Leafs Nation is proud to present to you the resume of head coaching candidate Peter DeBoer.


I’ve only made the playoffs once in my six-and-a-half seasons as an NHL head coach, and yet teams keep coming back for more.  Don’t ask me how I do it.  Didn’t I just tell you not to ask how I do it?  Oh, this is a job interview.  In that case…


Head Coach of the New Jersey Devils (2011-2014)

I spent 3.5 seasons as the head coach of this historic franchise before being relieved of my duties late in 2014.  My greatest accomplishment as Devils coach came in my first season with the team when we won 48 games and made it all the way to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, where we eventually lost to the Los Angeles Kings.  As a team our greatest strength was playing a relentless defensive style that limited what the opposing team was able to do with the puck.  We boasted a couple of elite seasons in terms of puck possession and shot suppression.  In typical New Jersey fashion, my Devils team got more done with less, using a largely mediocre roster to become greater than the sum of our parts.

Head Coach of the Florida Panthers (2008-2011)

Things didn’t go so well here.  Entering the NHL as a young up-and-comer, I was able to lead a so-so Florida Panthers team to a 93 point season in my first season.  Again, I felt that in this season I was able to get more out of my team than most other coaches might have been able to do.  However, we never made the playoffs in any of my three seasons with the Panthers, though it was good experience to get me ready for (some) success with the Devils in the years that would follow.

Head Coach of the Kitchener Rangers (2001-2008)

The Kitchener Rangers had one of their best stretches in franchise history during my 7 seasons as their head coach.  For starters, we never missed the playoffs while I was there.  More notably, we had the best record in the league two times, won the OHL championship in both those seasons, and advanced to the Memorial Cup Final in both of those seasons (we won one and we lost one).  During my time here, I coached future NHLers such as Derek Roy, Mike Richards, Steve Eminger, Mikkel Boedker, Boris Valabik, Mark Fraser, Jakub Kindl, Matt Halischuk, Robert Bortuzzo, Yannick Weber, and Nick Spaling.  I also coached Leafs center Nazem Kadri during his first two OHL seasons.

Head Coach and General Manager of the Plymouth Whalers (1995-2001)

I was the head coach and general manager of the Detroit/Plymouth Whalers franchise for six seasons between 1995 and 2001, taking over for former Whalers head coach and current NHL bench boss Paul Maurice.  I had lots of success here, advancing to the third round of the playoffs four times and the OHL Finals twice.  I also won two Coach of the Year awards as well as two awards for us having the best regular season record.  Here I coached the likes of David Legwand, Justin Williams, Stephen Weiss, James Wisniewski, and Gregory Campbell.

Assistant Coach for the Detroit Junior Red Wings (1994-1995)

Before we were the Plymouth Whalers, we were the Detroit Whalers.  Before we were the Detroit Whalers, we were the Detroit Junior Red Wings.  Having a year to watch and learn from someone who is now a well-established NHL coach in Paul Maurice was a great joy for me in my first season coaching in the OHL.  Apparently I must have impressed them, because after just one year as an assistant I was named as Maurice’s successor.


  • 2012 NHL Eastern Conference champion
  • 2003 Memorial Cup champion
  • Two-time OHL champion (2003, 2008)
  • Four-time OHL Western Conference champion (2000, 2001, 2003, 2008)
  • Two-time OHL Coach of the Year (1999, 2000)
  • Four-time Hamilton Spectator Trophy winner (best regular season record in the OHL) – 1999, 2000, 2003, 2008
  • Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, 2006




I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Peter DeBoer as a head coach in the NHL.  I think he’s shown enough, albeit inconsistently, to suggest that he’s capable of great things at the NHL level.  However, despite his track record in junior, DeBoer has a bad history with young players at the NHL level.  This is especially true in New Jersey where DeBoer garnered considerable criticism for his use of young defensemen Adam Larsson and Eric Gelinas.  DeBoer’s resume is strong enough that this wouldn’t be enough to completely frighten me away from him, but it is enough to make me weary.  DeBoer is a good coach and if the Leafs can’t land the likes of Mike Babcock or Todd McLellan then DeBoer would be one of a few logical choices as coach.  We know the Leafs have already talked with him so there does seem to be some interest from Toronto’s perspective.  This is also someone that Brendan Shanahan was rumored to have interest in last season when he first took over as team president.  One good thing here is that the Leafs wouldn’t need to compensate anybody with a draft pick if they wanted to hire DeBoer.  However, it does look like there are at least a couple of better options out there, so DeBoer should remain a secondary option until the fate of some other coaches are decided.

Other Resumes We’ve Received:

Jeff Blashill (Head Coach)

Laurence Gillman (General Manager)

Eakins (Head Coach)

Dan Bylsma (Head Coach)

George McPhee (General Manager)

Todd McLellan (Head Coach)

Pat Verbeek (General Manager)

Mike Babcock (Head Coach)

Jeff Gorton (General Manager)

Julien Brisebois (General

Paul MacLean (Head Coach)

Mike Futa (General Manager)

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  • Gary Empey

    “playing a relentless defensive style that limited what the opposing team was able to do with the puck.”
    If this is the route the Leafs plan to go ” God help the fans and team”. We just saw what that style looked like after Carlyle was fired. The only positive thing to come out of it was the number four draft selection. It was brutal to watch the high scoring forwards being told to play defensive hockey.
    What is needed is a ” Run and Gun” approach. Just ask Gretzky. Please just ask him one time. Now is there a Marty McSorley type in this years draft that can ride shotgun for Kessel and Nylander?

  • Jeremy Ian

    Is it certain that the leafs will not have to give up a pick for DeBoer? I heard reports that the oilers have to give up a pick for Chiarelli, and that they will have to give up another for McLellan. It seems as if as long as the coach is still under contract with a team they require compensation. Of course it could be a function of when the coach is fired, McLellan and Chiarelli were only let go at the end of the season, versus DeBoer earlier in the year.