Boughner ‘definitely ready’ to become NHL head coach

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For a while, signs have pointed towards Sharks assistant coach Bob Boughner eventually running his own bench. He was a candidate for the Colorado job that eventually went to Jared Bednar, and will soon interview for the vacant Florida gig.

This week, Boughner came out and said it — he wants to be a head coach.

“I’m ready,” Boughner told WindsorEssexTV last week. “I’m definitely ready and I want to get my own team.”

Boughner, 46, has a fairly impressive resume. After a lengthy pro career, he immediately transitioned to the coaching side with OHL Windsor, capturing a pair of Memorial Cups. From there, he spent a year as Scott Arniel’s assistant in Columbus before returning to junior, then moved back to the NHL as Peter DeBoer’s assistant in San Jose in 2015.

Appearing in over 600 NHL games as a rugged defenseman, Boughner has worked primarily with the Sharks’ blueline and penalty kill. He’s been praised by a number of the club’s rearguards, including Brent Burns, while veteran Paul Martin said Boughner “definitely has the pedigree” to become a head coach.

Sharks GM Doug Wilson has granted Boughner to speak with Panthers GM Dale Tallon about the job, but Tallon plans to speak with a dozen candidates. Boughner acknowledged he’s “on a list with some other amazing candidates.”

Yet that might not be the only gig he’s in line for.

Sportsnet reported Boughner could be considered for the Buffalo job as well. He spent three years playing with the Sabres — helping them advance to the Eastern Conference final in 1998 — and was a former teammate of new GM Jason Botterill (with the Calgary organization from ’00-02).