A sort of new gig for Windsor’s Boughner

BlackburnNews.com file photo of former Windsor Spitfires head coach Bob Boughner, July 3, 2015. (Photo by Jason Viau)

Windsor’s own Bob Boughner is getting one of his old jobs back.

The NHL’s San Jose Sharks announced Wednesday morning that Boughner, former head coach and current part-owner of the Windsor Spitfires, has been rehired as an assistant coach for the 2019-2020 season. Boughner, 48, will work with Sharks’ head coach Peter DeBoer.

DeBoer praised the rehire of Boughner, saying that he brings a wealth of experience to the game.

“I’m extremely excited that Bob has chosen to re-join our staff in San Jose,” said DeBoer in a media release. “He and I have known each other for more than 20 years and we’re very familiar with all the intangibles that he brings to our team.”

This will be the second tour of duty in the Bay Area for Boughner. He was an assistant with San Jose from 2015 to 2017, before leaving to take the head coaching job with the Florida Panthers. Boughner will take the spot vacated by former Sharks assistant Rob Zettler, who replaced Boughner when the latter left for Florida.

Boughner was the Panthers’ bench boss for three seasons before being fired at the end of the 2018-19 regular season. During his second year with the Panthers, he brought them within one point of a playoff spot.

The Sharks are coming off a season where they reached the Western Conference Finals, losing to the St. Louis Blues in six games. They racked up 101 regular-season points and finished second in the Pacific Division standings.

A former NHL defenceman, Boughner became part of the Spitfires’ ownership group in 2006 and was their head coach from 2006 to 2010, then 2011 to 2015. He became the first OHL coach to win the CHL Coach of the Year Award twice in addition to coaching Windsor to back-to-back Memorial Cup titles, having done so in 2008 and 2009.

In between stints with the Spitfires, he served one season as an assistant with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.

Boughner is the latest in a group of local hockey luminaries taking on new jobs in the NHL. Last week, former Spitfires assistant coach D.J. Smith, who was the head coach of the OHL’s Oshawa Senators and an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs; was named head coach of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators. Former Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is now the general manager of the Edmonton Oilers, with Wings Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman taking Holland’s job in Detroit.