Are we nearing the end of Bob Boughner’s tenure as head coach of the San Jose Sharks? Or does Boughner deserve a reprieve because of the top-heavy rosters that he’d been saddled with in San Jose?
This week on the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast, we look at Boughner’s first go-around as an NHL head coach to get some answers about his viability as a bench boss. Boughner coached the Florida Panthers from 2017-19 and had stars like Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Aaron Ekblad, and MacKenzie Weegar at this disposal, but he couldn’t get them into the playoffs either.
George Richards of Florida Hockey Now joins us to share his perspective of Boughner’s tenure in Florida.
But before we talk about that, we touch on the San Jose Sharks adding goaltender Strauss Mann to their ranks. How could that be like DC Comics villain Darkseid using Marvel’s Infinity Gauntlet? (4:30)
We have quick injury updates on Kevin Labanc and Adin Hill and Erik Karlsson (6:30). Then we touch on the Evander Kane grievance (12:30). We then talk more about Strauss Mann (16:00) and Thomas Bordeleau’s NHL debut (24:00).
We then get into Bob talk: Will the new GM bring Boughner back (37:00)? I don’t think so, and I tell you why.
Finally, George Richards jumps on (51:00).
What happened to the Florida Panthers in the 2018-19 season, Boughner’s last year there (58:30)?
How did Joel Quenneville’s availability hang over that Panthers’ season (1:03:00)?
Florida’s blueline was bad that year, according to Richards (1:05:30). Richards discussed how Boughner connected with the Panthers (1:11:00). What does Richards think is Boughner’s culpability for not winning with Barkov and company?
How did Bob handle Florida’s younger players (1:16:00)? What positives does Richards attribute to Boughner in Florida? What negatives (1:19:00)?
Richards believes that Boughner wouldn’t have been fired by Florida if not for Quenneville’s availability (1:21:00). And Quenneville’s first Panthers team was actually worse than Boughner’s best (1:24:00).
What was Boughner’s relationship with his star Panthers players like Barkov, Ekblad, and Huberdeau (1:27:30)? Did young players develop under Bob (1:32:00)?
Richards also tells us why Dale Tallon exposed Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith to the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 expansion draft (1:34:00)?
Richards finally ends with a Joe Thornton update (1:40:00) heading into the playoffs.
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