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Ex-Knights coach Pete DeBoer hired by Stars

Updated June 21, 2022 - 2:06 pm

Pete DeBoer wasn’t out of a job for long.

DeBoer, fired May 16 by the Golden Knights, was hired as the Dallas Stars’ coach Tuesday. He replaces Rick Bowness, who wasn’t retained after the team’s season ended.

TSN reported Monday the sides were working to finalize a four-year contract worth more than $4 million per season.

“Pete brings a wealth of experience to our dressing room, and we’re thrilled to name him our next head coach,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said in a statement. “Every team that he has taken over has not only shown immediate improvement but has been ultra-competitive in the Stanley Cup playoffs. … His resume displays the high standards he sets and his ability to get his team to play up to that level consistently.”

Dallas is the fifth NHL team DeBoer has coached. The 54-year-old had one year remaining on his contract with the Knights and had the option of taking a year off.

Instead, DeBoer will return for his 16th NHL season after stints in Florida, New Jersey, San Jose and Las Vegas. He’s one of 28 coaches in league history with 500 wins and one of 31 with 1,000 games.

The Stars were a thorn in the Knights’ side with DeBoer as coach. They beat out the Knights for a wild-card playoff spot this season. Two seasons ago, they defeated the Knights in the Western Conference Final.

“Over the last few seasons, I have seen firsthand what the Stars are building with a mix of dynamic young players and established leaders,” DeBoer said in a statement. “The chance to become this team’s next head coach was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

Dallas lost to Calgary in seven games in the first round this season. The Stars were 89-62-25 over parts of three seasons under Bowness.

DeBoer has a track record of having instant success with new teams. He led the Devils and Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final in his first season with both clubs. He took the Knights to back-to-back semifinals to open his tenure.

DeBoer’s overall record is 513-379-123 (.566 points percentage). He was 98-50-12 (.650) with the Knights.

But the Knights couldn’t overcome a slew of injuries this season and missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, leading to DeBoer’s firing. They hired Bruce Cassidy as his replacement June 14.

Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon said he wanted a “new voice” for next season in explaining the move. He declined to say where DeBoer fell short.

“We had a lot of success with Pete,” McCrimmon said. “I think he’s a really good coach.”

DeBoer will be reunited with his former San Jose captain, Joe Pavelski. The 37-year-old is coming off a career year in which he scored 81 points in 82 games for the Stars. The two were together four seasons with the Sharks.

Along with veterans Pavelski, captain Jamie Benn and center Tyler Seguin, the Stars have plenty of young talent. Center Roope Hintz and left wing Jason Robertson teamed with Pavelski to form one of the NHL’s top lines this season. Defenseman Miro Heiskanen continues to impress, and rookie goaltender Jake Oettinger was sensational in the playoffs with a .954 save percentage.

Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

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