Over the weekend, it was reported that the Florida Panthers were close to hiring Bob Boughner as their next head coach.
On Monday, the Panthers made it official.
“After an exhaustive search, we are pleased to welcome Bob as the new head coach of the Panthers,” GM Dale Tallon said in release. “He sees the game in a modern way and is eager to work with our young players. 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.”
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 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.
Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad seems to be pretty happy about management’s decision to go with Boughner.
“If the rumours are true, I’d be very excited,” Ekblad told the Miami Herald over the weekend.
“I’ve known Bob Boughner for a long time. From what I know, players love to be coached by him and he’s been on winning teams.”
The Panthers will officially introduce Boughner at a 2:00 p.m. ET news conference this afternoon.