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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Pete DeBoer Drops F-Bomb. Paul Maurice Says He ‘Would Never’

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Paul Maurice, here shown coaching the Florida Panthers earlier this season, is best friends with Dallas coach Pete DeBoer — who coached the Panthers from 2008-11. // AP Photos

FORT LAUDERDALE — Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice and Dallas Stars coach Pete DeBoer are the best of friends, so, a day after DeBoer dropped an F-bomb in his postgame press conference, Maurice was asked about it.

“I would never use such language,’’ Maurice said, tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Maurice, of course, would use such language and has not only out of earshot from the media but during televised press conferences.

Mostly, his is in good humor.

DeBoer was not in a joking mood.

During his postgame press conference following a 3-1 loss to Edmonton in Game 5 of the Western Conference final, DeBoer was asked by Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News “did you not think it was kind of a lifeless second period for your team?” after the Stars went down 3-0.

“Listen, there are always things you can do better,” DeBoer said.

Then, things got salty — with DeBoer calling Cawlishaw out for not covering the team all season.

“You’re going to sit here and question our character if you want,” DeBoer said, “you haven’t been around all year…

“I’m not going to do it. You go ahead and write whatever the (F) you want.”

Maurice, who hired DeBoer as his assistant back when he was head coach of the Detroit Junior Red Wings in 1994, defended his friend.

“This goes to the emotion, the connection you have with your own players and there is a protection … he’s not gaming you,’’ Maurice said before his pregame press conference officially started Saturday morning.

“He’s not trying to find an advantage for the next game. That comes from the heart and soul. You take that personally. That series has certainly had considerable momentum swings in it, right, where there were moments of domination by either team. To pick out the piece that maybe your wasn’t dominant, I don’t think was accurate to the way that’s played.

“I understand it. You’re fighting with your brothers. I felt it. The reason that resonates is because that’s the truth. That’s how he felt.’’

But, was this message being sent not to the reporter but to his team?

“Sometimes you get wound up and you can’t shut it off,’’ Maurice said. “You get it into third gear, sometimes, and you want to slip it into fourth. No, I don’t think it was calculated.’’

For the most in-depth coverage of the Florida Panthers:

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
FLORIDA PANTHERS (ATL1) V. NEW YORK RANGERS (MET1)
Panthers Lead Best-of-7 Series 3-2
GAME 6

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