Bob Boughner is set to re-join the coaching staff of Peter Deboer and the San Jose Sharks, who announced today that they have re-hired their former assistant coach. Boughner spent the previous two seasons as head coach of the Florida Panthers, but was fired shortly after their season came to an end in April.
Boughner’s first season with the Panthers saw them winning 44 games and finishing with 96 points on the season, but missed the playoffs by just one point. His second season, however, was much less eventful, as the Panthers only won 36 games and once again failed to make the playoffs.
Along with the news of Boughner’s return, it was revealed that assistant coach Rob Zettler would not be returning to the Sharks bench for the 2019-20 season. Zettler originally replaced Boughner for his second stint as the Sharks' assistant coach.
As an assistant coach, Boughner’s main responsibility was coaching the defense and the penalty kill. In his two years as the Sharks' assistant coach, the Sharks had a penalty kill percentage of 9.22 percent and 8.81 percent, the latter ranking 12th overall in the league that season.
“Bob already has strong relationships with many of our key players and we expect that he will reintegrate himself into our organization seamlessly,” said Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson.
Boughner’s relationship with his players was not only present in the locker room, but also off the ice. While most Panthers fans celebrated the departure of Boughner, one person who wasn’t particularly thrilled with the firing was none other than Logan Couture.
Because of Zettler’s departure, it’s likely that Boughner will once again oversee the defense on the Sharks bench. For players like Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun, bringing back Boughner could very well bring their defensive performances back to form after down years for both of them. With Braun and Vlasic together under Boughner, their Corsi for percent at 5-on-5 together was 50.3 percent when adjusted for score and venue. In addition, they created more expected goals together than they allowed, 65.8 xGF to 55.3 xGA.