Sharks land DeBoer as new head coach 

click to enlarge Peter DeBoer
  • Alex Brandon/2013 AP file photo
  • Former New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer will be announced as the new Sharks coach today in San Jose.

Seven years after Peter DeBoer was a finalist in their coaching search, the Sharks have reeled him back in as the successor to Todd McLellan behind the bench.

The announcement will be made official at a news conference today.

Unlike McLellan, the 46-year-old DeBoer has guided a team to the Stanley Cup Finals. DeBoer accomplished that feat in 2012, when the Devils lost to the Los Angeles Kings in six games. Since then, DeBoer hasn't been back to the playoffs.

The 2011-12 season marked the only time in his seven years on the bench that his team has advanced to the postseason. That dry spell resulted in the firing of DeBoer midway through the 2014-15 season, when the Devils got off to a 12-17-7 start. DeBoer arrives in San Jose with a number of connections to the franchise.

Larry Robinson, who is the team's director of player development, was an assistant under DeBoer with New Jersey during the 2011-12 season.

After McLellan and the organization parted ways last month, general manager Doug Wilson said Robinson would have input on his successor.

DeBoer also has links to the coach that he will replace.

Earlier this month, DeBoer served as an assistant on McLellan's Team Canada staff during the World Championships in the Czech Republic. Canada claimed the gold medal at the tournament for the first time since 2007. McLellan, who led the Sharks for seven seasons, was hired in the same capacity by the Edmonton Oilers two weeks ago.

DeBoer's first goal will be to get the Sharks back into the postseason. Last year they missed out the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons. They were 12th in the 14-team Western Conference.

The new coach faces plenty of challenges with his team, starting with the goaltending situation and a possible full-time captain.

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Karl Buscheck

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