“Because it’s the Cup,” is the NHL’s new promotional slogan for the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Now that the tournament has entered the Conference Semifinal stage, the picture of the future league champion is becoming clearer.
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Peter DeBoer made his NHL debut at the age of 39. Not as a player, but as a coach. DeBoer, a draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1988, was hired to coach the Florida Panthers before the beginning of the 2008-09 NHL season. Under the control of DeBoer, the Panthers went 103-107-36 in his three seasons as head coach. At the end of the 2010-11 season, DeBoer was fired as Florida’s head coach. In that same off-season, New Jersey Devils head coach, Jacques Lemaire, retired from coaching after the Devils missed the playoffs for the first time since the 1995-96 season. On June 1, 2011 the Panthers hired Kevin Dineen as their new bench boss. Then on July 19, 2011, DeBoer was hired to coach the Devils.