Spitfires in good hands

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

Bob Boughner had no interest in watching someone else do the dirty work with the Windsor Spitfires and then step in a few years after the rebuilding was done and take over as coach.

Boughner, who bought the Ontario Hockey League club with Warren Rychel and Peter Dobrich last winter, decided in early July to retire from the NHL and start from the ground up and go behind the Spits bench himself.

"I have to be honest, it is not the easiest thing to do, but there is nothing else I would rather be doing than coaching these guys," Boughner said. "It's therapeutic in a way. Patience is going to be tested at times but that's fine.

"I did not have the intention of this when we took over, but I had to weigh my options. I didn't want to watch someone else take some young kids and mould them, and then come in on the high horse after the tough times."

Patience is a key for Boughner. The Spitfires are last in the West Division at 3-7-1-1.

Boughner played 630 games in the NHL for six clubs and though he misses it, he is glad to be with his wife Jenn and their four children more often. His time on the NHL Players' Association executive gave him a better understanding of the business side, but he shrugged at the lingering strife. Earlier this month, Boughner was among those named in a lawsuit filed by a group of players that wants Ted Saskin removed as the NHLPA's executive director.

"I heard my name was in that thing but it's almost like it is old news," Boughner, 35, said. "People are tired of it."

Boughner played under a number of influential coaches, including Darryl Sutter, Ted Nolan, the late Herb Brooks and Paul Maurice, and he has plenty to draw from.

"I take a bit from everybody," Boughner said. "I knew this was something I would be interested in, and now I know it is definitely something I want to do for a while."

BRIEFLY

The Canadian Hockey League, with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, will announce details tomorrow of its new drug-testing policy ... Stan Butler, the director of hockey operations and coach of the Brampton Battalion, is in no hurry to trade forward Aaron Snow, who left the team. A Dallas Stars pick, Snow has eight points in 12 games ... The OHL today will unveil its roster for the Canada Russia Challenge. Games are Nov. 23 in Sarnia and Nov. 27 in Oshawa.


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