Report: Panthers close to hiring Bob Boughner as new head coach

Former farmhand would be 15th bench boss in club history

According to TSN insider Bob McKenzie, the Florida Panthers won’t wait to interview Nashville’s Phil Housely and instead, are set to hire Bob Boughner as their next head coach.

The 46-year-old Boughner was an assistant on Peter DeBoer’s staff in San Jose the last two seasons. He was also an assistant in Columbus during the 2010-11 season.

Prior to joining the Sharks, Boughner was a successful head coach with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL, guiding the franchise to a pair of Memorial Cup championships in 2008 and 2009 and twice won the Brian Kilrea Award as the league’s coach of the year.

Boughner was a member of the Panthers organization during his playing days, suiting up for the club’s farm teams in Cinncinati (IHL) in 1994-95 and Carolina (AHL) in 1995-96 before he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres on February 1, 1996. The defenseman went on to play 630 NHL games with the Sabres, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche.