Boughner out of Flames' mix
Ian Busby, Calgary Sun
|Windsor Spitfires head coach Bob Boughner says he's comfortable coaching junior and isn't coming to Calgary. (QMI Agency Files)
Bob Boughner doesn’t sound like someone who is campaigning to be the next head coach of the Calgary Flames.
The former Flames captain told the Windsor Star he isn’t focusing on going back to the NHL right now and has had no contact with Calgary’s management.
When the Flames parted ways with bench boss Brent Sutter, Boughner’s named came up as a possible replacement, but the Windsor Spitfires head coach isn’t interested.
“Really, the only thing on my mind is the Windsor Spitfires,” Boughner told the Star. “I’m excited for what kind of team we’ll have and what we can accomplish in the next few years.”
Boughner, who spent two seasons with Flames (2001-03) and was a co-captain along with Craig Conroy, spent five of the past six seasons as head coach of the Spitfires and is also a co-owner.
The Spitfires won back-to-back OHL and Memorial Cup championships (2009-10) before Boughner spent one season as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He stepped down from the Jackets to spend more time with family and then resumed his duties behind the bench in Windsor.
“It was a difficult decision to come back,” the 41-year-old said. “Some might see the reason I came back and understand. Some might not.
“I love what I do here. I’ve always said my dream is to be an NHL (head) coach, but I have a big commitment here.
“It’s not fair to everybody to jump (up to the NHL) and then back. In the future, at some point and time, I’d like to go back, but it has to be the right situation for me and for my family. It’s not something I’m looking to do in the next little while.”
Backlund teaching kids
Mikael Backlund will make one more appearance in Calgary before his summer officially starts.
The Calgary Flames centre will work with boys and girls ages eight to 15 at Saturday’s Allstate All-Canadians Mentorship Program at the Don Hartman North East Sportsplex. The one-day camp will give 120 kids, parents and coaches the chance to learn from NHLPA members in areas such as nutrition, fitness and mental skills.
Former NHL defenceman Mathieu Schnieder and Olympic freestyle skier Deidra Dionne will also take part.
Heat open on the road
Even with home-ice advantage, the Abbotsford Heat will open the AHL playoffs on the road.
The Heat finished fourth in the Western Conference and will play the Milwaukee Admirals starting Friday in Wisconsin. Under AHL rules, the higher-seeded team gets to pick whether it wants to host Games 1, 2 and 5 or 3-5.
Meanwhile, Heat goalie Leland Irving enters the playoffs without any hair under his helmet. As part of Cuts for the Cure campaign, Irving (himself a childhood cancer survivor) had his locks shorn on Sunday.
Flames blueliner Chris Butler will join Team USA at the world championships. Butler is the sixth defenceman on the American squad along with Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Alex Goligoski, Jack Johnson and Jeff Petry … Flames prospect Max Reinhart debuted with the Heat on Sunday, scoring two goals in the final regular-season game … The Flames have assigned prospect Michael Ferland to the Heat after his season with the Brandon Wheat Kings concluded.
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