The time has come where Bob Boughner has resigned from his position as assistant coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL. Boughner has spent just one year behind the bench in Columbus. bob spent the previous five seasons as the Head Coach of the Windsor Spitifres guiding the team to back to back Memorial Cup Champions. It was the back to back National titles that gave Boughner the opportunity to coach in the NHL.
The move comes somewhat as a surprise as the Blue Jackets missed the playoffs this past season after missing in the 09/10 season. With the help of Boughner, CBJ was able to improve their point total by 2 (79-81) and improve to 13th from 14th in the Western Conference. Boughner maintained a role with the Windsor Spitfires in his absence and maintained presence despite his coaching duties. Bob steps down citing family obligations and his commitments to the Windsor Spitfires as the reasons for resigning. Even though these may be the claimed reasons, the speculation has already begun that he will resume his former role of head coach come the puck drop on the 2011/12 season. If that is the case, that he will become the head coach again... What does this mean for the Windsor Spitfires? What are the many roles that Bob Boughner could be while back in the organization?
Ambassador - This seems very arbitrary but himself and Warren Rychel took over this franchise and has injected two things into the franchise. Winning and Money. Not saying that the previous owners didn't provide the best for their players, but having two former NHLers who continuously got paid a million and change, if not more, every year for 10+ years really helps 'sell' the program of 'excellence'
Recruiter - Goes with the last 'role'. I have no doubt that as much as Warren Rychel can pull American born players to the program with ease... it is considerably easier with Bob Boughner behind the bench, or heavily involved in hockey operations of the franchise. Cam Fowler? Jack Campbell? It also works with Canadian born players who would have taken NCAA offers. Ryan Ellis? Having Boughner back to help sell Mark Friedman, Windsors 13th round selection in the OHL Priority Draft, on the Spitfires instead of his verbal commitment to Bowling Green beginning fall 2013.
Head Coach - The year was up and down for Bob Jones and not just on the ice... there was the off ice dispute that unless I have been sleeping (and i do from time to time) has not been resolved yet. There have been notions about the dressing revolting against Jones, or a 'clique' really calling the shots. There has been the 'absence' of key players at important times, some regression on veterans while some rookies thrived. Yes it was a completely different team than what Boughner lead to the Memorial Cup, both occasions, but their outcome could have been completely different. There is no doubt that it is easy to coach certain players (Taylor Hall) but are you going to doubt the abilities of Bob Boughner who has taken the Spitfires in the 'upward' direction since standing behind the bench. (06/07 43pts, 07/08 94pts, 08/09 115pts, 09/10 106pts)
Come to think about it. Having Bob back with the organization on a full time basis... has him as all these jobs. Just him being there will get the job done for any player who is himming or hawing about playing in the OHL. But if the Windsor Spitfires come calling... the decision could just be a very short, YES! And don't forget about the 'free agents' out there who have been 'passed over' or 'committed to somewhere else. Bobby and the Spits... like an old tyme 50's boy band no? But nowadays... just stands for greatness.