The Columbus Blue Jackets announced that Bob Boughner stepped down from his assistant coaching position after just one season today.
It seems like Boughner was trying to juggle too many things at once between his NHL job and other commitments. Tom Reed of the Columbus Post-Dispatch described Boughner’s “double life” that consisted of his assistant job and his other big hockey role as co-owner and president of the wildly successful Windsor Spitfires junior team. Aaron Portzline points out that it’s likely that Boughner resigned to spend more time dealing with various business situations in Windsor, so one can assume that focusing more on the Spitfires might be one of the points of emphasis.
Mike MacLean of The Cannon backs up this thought process, but also wonders if he would have spent more time in Columbus if the team had better prospects for success and points out that Dale Hawerchuk might be a potential replacement option for Boughner.
Bougher and Arniel discussed the assistant coach’s departure in the Blue Jackets’ press release on the matter.
“I want to thank Scott Howson, Scott Arniel and the McConnell family for the opportunity to work with the Blue Jackets last season,” said Boughner. “I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Columbus and regret that I am not going to be there to see this team continue to develop and accomplish the goals we’ve set for it. This was a very difficult decision, but with my family and business commitments in Windsor it was in our best interest as a family.”
“While I am disappointed that Bob is leaving our staff, I completely understand and support his decision to put his family first,” said Blue Jackets Head Coach Scott Arniel. “He worked extremely hard last season and was a great asset to myself, the coaching staff and our players. For that, I am very thankful and I wish him all the best moving forward.”
Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”
The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.
Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.
Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.
“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”
Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:
- He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
- Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
- The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.
Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.
Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?