(The Sports Xchange) - The Florida Panthers named Bob Boughner as their head coach on Monday.
The former NHL defenseman becomes the 15th coach in the franchise’s 24-year history, and its fifth since 2011.
“After an exhaustive search, we are pleased to welcome Bob as the new head coach of the Panthers,” general manager Dale Tallon said of the 46-year-old Boughner. “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 toward our goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”
Boughner spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks.
The Panthers have been without a coach since April 10, following the firing of interim coach Tom Rowe after a season in which the team posted a 35-36-11 mark to finish 14 points out of a playoff berth. Rowe took over when Florida ousted Gerard Gallant early in the season.
Boughner was teammates with Panthers veteran forward Jaromir Jagr on the Pittsburgh Penguins and has ties to other Florida players.
“I’ve known (Aaron) Ekblad his whole life. I see him all the time during the summer; he’s actually buddies with my son,” Boughner told Sportsnet last month. “I’ve had Derek MacKenzie in Columbus, had (James) Reimer in San Jose, (Mark) Pysyk and (Alex) Petrovic at the Under-18s Ivan Hlinka (Memorial Cup), so (I am) pretty familiar with the team.”
Boughner collected 72 points (15 goals, 57 assists) in 630 games over 10 seasons as a defenseman with the Buffalo Sabres, Nashville Predators, Penguins, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche.
Editing by Gene Cherry