Kitchener Connection: DeBoer a Frontrunner to Become Detroit Assistant Coach
According to multiple sources, Peter DeBoer is a leading candidate to land one of the two assistant coaching positions available with the Red Wings. Detroit is now expecting to have two assistant coaching vacancies once the Ottawa Senators announce Paul MacLean as their next head coach.
Despite his difficulties the last three seasons with the Florida Panthers (103 wins / 107 losses), there is no denying DeBoer’s coaching ability. Before getting a chance at the NHL level, he spent twelve years coaching in the Ontario Hockey League split between the Plymouth Whalers and the Kitchener Rangers. He coached the Rangers to a Memorial Cup trophy in 2003 and was named the OHL coach of the year in both 1999 and 2000. He is currently part of the ownership group for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL.
With strong ties to Kitchener, the Red Wings likely know DeBoer and his abilities well. Detroit’s head scout Joe McDonnell lives near Kitchener and frequented games during DeBoer’s tenure especially while he coached then top prospect and current Red Wing Jakub Kindl as well as former prospect Evan McGrath.
Other possible candidates for the positions include former Minnesota coach Todd Richards, Bob Boughner, and Gerald Gallant. The Wings have given no indication of when they will make a formal announcement of their new coaching staff. However with other major decisions looming, expect an announcement sooner rather than later.