Is DeBoer De Man?

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

A trip to Barbados.

A meeting with Senators owner Eugene Melnyk.

A 40th birthday celebration tomorrow.

It's already been quite a week for Kitchener Rangers coach Peter DeBoer.

And it could get even better. It's expected that Senators GM Bryan Murray could meet today with DeBoer, who returned from Barbados last night. And if all goes well, DeBoer could soon be named the new Senators coach.

DeBoer could not be reached at the Christ Church hotel used by club officials and Murray said nobody has been offered the job. DeBoer, who has no NHL experience, has also talked to the Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks. The Senators don't want to get in a bidding war with the Kings or Panthers. The Sharks hired former Detroit Red Wings assistant Todd McLellan as their new coach last night.

If DeBoer is the man for the job, sources say Murray wants him to make a commitment to the organization today and then the details of a contract can be worked out. The Senators could go in a different direction. If talks with DeBoer don't work out, Sault Ste. Marie coach Craig Hartsburg will be invited to travel to Barbados to meet with Melnyk.

"If you send a guy to meet the owner, then you have every intention of hiring him," said a league executive. "You don't want to waste Eugene Melnyk's time either."

It's believed DeBoer has told teams that he's finally ready to make the jump to the NHL after seven years behind the Kitchener bench.

Many believe DeBoer is the best coach outside the NHL. The Atlanta Thrashers considered speaking with him as well, but sources say they've virtually settled on hiring Chicago Wolves coach John Anderson, who won an AHL championship on Tuesday.

"I'm sure that Peter DeBoer is doing a lot of soul searching right now to make sure this is the right opportunity for him," said an NHL executive last night. "The Senators don't want to be played by him and they certainly don't want to be used as a bargaining chip."


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