Just a couples days ago, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported the Florida Panthers had come to a decision on who their new coach would be. After quite the wait, Bob Boughner would be the man of choice. A former NHL Defenseman, the “boogieman” has spent the last 2 season as an Assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks.
Prior to that, his coaching experience extends back to his OHL days with the Windsor Spitfires. Boughner is a partial owner of the team and came in to coach them in 2006 for a total of 8 solid seasons with the ‘Spits. In his tenure with Windsor, he would win two Memorial Cups and bring home two Brian Kilrea Coach of The Year awards.
Boughner really impressed Dale Tallon and company in his interview, as he highly praised the new coach.
"“He sees the game in a modern way and is eager to work with our young players,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said. “During the interview process, Bob blew us away with his preparation, his passion, knowledge and dedication to the game. We believe that he is the right leader to get our team back to competing towards our goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”"
The Panthers definitely struggled offensively more so than they did defensively in the 2016-17 season. With Boughner being more defensively minded, it will be interesting to see how that will translate to the team on the ice.
Along with taking a defense first approach, he’s also known for working greatly with young players. This works to the Cats benefit, they have plenty of young stars on the roster as well as upcoming guys. With some better direction, we’ll see Nick Bjugstad and Aaron Ekblad come back to form.
Boughner also has ties to quite a few players in the Panthers locker room. Family friends with Aaron Ekblad, previously coached Mark Pysyk and Alex Petrovic in tournament play. He also worked with both Derek MacKenzie in Columbus and James Reimer in San Jose, so the familiarly is definitely there.
San Jose Sharks and former Panthers Head coach Peter DeBoer, went on the record saying the hiring was a great decision for the Cats. In the same instance he explained, “He has everything that you are looking for in a modern day coach,” and “He gets today’s athlete.”
Overall, I think it’s important to not get to high or low on the decision at the moment, whether this was the candidate you wanted or not. He may not be an experienced NHL coach with a Stanley Cup on his resume, but still can bring needed structure and stability to the locker room. Results are what stand tall above anything else.