The Florida Panthers announced today that head coach Bob Boughner has been relieved of his duties as head coach, along with assistant coach Paul McFarland.
General Manager Dale Tallon had this to say:
“We made a tough decision today and have relieved Bob Boughner of his duties as head coach,” said Tallon. “We didn’t meet expectations this season and share responsibility for that fact. After careful evaluation, we have determined that this is a necessary first step for our young team and we will seek to identify a transformative, experienced head coach with Stanley Cup pedigree to lead our team going forward. We’re grateful to Bob, Paul and their families for their hard work and their dedication to the Panthers organization and we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.”
Many expected the Panthers to take a leap forward this season after an impressive second half to the 2017-18 season, which landed them just one point short of a playoff spot after a poor start.
Unfortunately, the club took a substantial step back this season, finishing with just 86 points (ten less than the year prior), 12 points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets, who claimed the final playoff slot in the Eastern Conference.
The Panthers were done in by a porous defense, lackluster goaltending, an inability to win close games, constant shuffling of the forward lines, and a lack of faith in the bottom half of the roster, which resulted in overuse and burnout of the team’s best players earlier in the season.
For much of this season, and the first half of his inaugural campaign behind the bench, Boughner appeared to be over his head and couldn’t never find a way to get his charges to play consistent hockey this year, despite getting career offensive seasons from a number of players.
It’s time for Panthers to hire an experienced coach instead of being a testing ground for first-timers. The biggest name out there would be Joel Quenneville, who has a relationship with Tallon from there days in Chicago.
Do you agree with the firing of Bob Boughner?
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Only if they land Quennville