Windsor Spitfires losing coach Bob Boughner to San Jose Sharks — report

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Boughner guided the Spitfires to Memorial Cups in 2009 and '10 (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)
Boughner guided the Spitfires to Memorial Cups in 2009 and '10 (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)

The Windsor Spitfires' coaching tree is about to branch out all the way to San Jose, apparently. One off-shoot of the NHL draft is that the coaching carousel whirs into high gear, and there are indications that Bob Boughner might be taking a second stab at the NHL.

With former OHL coach Peter DeBoer now installed as the San Jose Sharks head coach, the NHL organization is also tweaking the rest of its staff. On Saturday, TSN's Darren Dreger reported that Boughner is expected to join the Sharks imminenently.

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Boughner was with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010-11 before rejoining the Spitfires.

That coaching tree from the Spitfires' championship seasons also reaches to the Toronto Maple Leafs (defensive assistant D.J. Smith, via the Oshawa Generals), the Generals (Bob Jones) and Sudbury Wolves (David Matsos). That's a lot of experience for an OHL team to part with in a span of a few seasons, so Windsor GM and vice-president Warren Rychel might not have a coach-in-waiting within the organization. There was a suggestion from CTV London's Brent Lale that there is a successor right in the Spitfires' backyard in Bill Bowler, the franchise's all-time point leader and OHL career assist leader. Bowler is coach-GM of the Junior B Lasalle Vipers, where the Spitfires have often assigned young players.

Windsor has been set back by OHL sanctions levied in 2012. They probably need no reminder that they haven't won a playoff game in the past four seasons. There is a lot of promise, with 2016 NHL draft hopefuls such as centre Logan Brown and left wing Luke Kirwan, along with incoming No. 2 overall priority selection pick Gabe Vilardi, a 6-foot-2 centre. Having someone with head coaching experience in junior hockey, whatever the level, might be a good step.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @naitSAYger.

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