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02-23-2012, 08:48 AM
Ronnie Bass
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: New Jersey
Country: Ireland
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Pete DeBoer "This guy gets it and has great ties"

The Devils were bracing to experience the wrath of new head coach Pete DeBoer like never before. They had just blown a 3-0 lead after the first period and lost, 4-3, to the Florida Panthers, the team that had fired DeBoer following last season.

Prior to the Nov. 21 game, DeBoer made no secret of his desire to beat the Panthers. Saddled with a roster of primarily young players, he posted a 103-107 record in three frustrating seasons in South Florida in his first NHL head-coaching job, which followed 13 seasons as a highly respected junior coach.

After a dejected Devils team boarded the bus to head to the airport, DeBoer addressed them. It was his 19th game as their coach.

“He easily could’ve snapped, easily,” captain Zach Parise recalled recently. “We were all upset for losing the game. We all wanted to win the game for Pete. You get fired by a team or you get traded, you want to beat that team.

“So he gets up on the bus and says, ‘Hey, that happens to every single team in the NHL once or twice a year. It happened to us tonight. Let’s not let it happen again.’ And that was it. He never talked about it again.

“We were all like, ‘This guy gets it. He understands.’ We all knew we stunk that night and let’s move on.”

1995, 2000, 2003..........

Last edited by Ronnie Bass: 02-23-2012 at 09:52 AM.
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