Report: Panthers closing in on Boughner as next head coach

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It seems as if the Florida Panthers’ coaching search is on the verge of coming to an end.

According to a report from TSN’s Bob McKenzie on Saturday morning, the Panthers are closing in on a deal (“barring any last minute hiccups”) to make Bob Boughner the team’s next head coach.

Boughner, 46, was most recently an assistant coach on Peter DeBoer’s staff with the San Jose Sharks. Prior to joining the Sharks Boughner was a successful head coach in the Ontario Hockey League with the Windsor Spitfires where he helped guide the team to a pair of Memorial Cup championships and was twice named the league’s coach of the year.

He would be the 15th coach in Panthers team history, and the 12th since 2000.

Before beginning his coaching career Boughner spent nine years in the NHL as a defenseman, playing in 630 regular season games as a member of the Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Carolina Hurricanes.

If the Panthers end up completing the deal with Boughner it would leave the Sabres as the only team in the NHL with a head coaching vacancy. Some of the names connected to that job have included Nashville Predators assistant coach Phil Housley, former Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube and current Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet.