Born: March 8, 1971
Birthplace: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Height: 6'0" Weight: 206 lbs.
Drafted by: Detroit Red Wings, 2nd Round, 32nd
Overall, 1989 NHL Entry Draft.
Seasons with Buffalo: 1995-96 to 1997-98
Uniform Numbers: 4, 6
|Bob Boughner grew up in Windsor, Ontario, just across the river from Detroit. As a youngster, Boughner was a fan of the Detroit Red Wings. Hoping someday to play for the Red Wings, Boughner took up hockey at an early age.
A hard-hitting, physical defenseman, Boughner worked his way through the midget and minor-junior ranks, earning a spot in the major-junior league with the Sault-Ste.-Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League, where he played under coach Ted Nolan. Boughner scored 6 goals and 15 assists as a rookie in the 1988-89 season. At the end of the season, Boughner was eligible for the NHL Entry Draft. Boughner was selected in the second round of the draft by none other than the Detroit Red Wings. He was the 32nd player taken overall.
Boughner returned to his junior team, and improved his point total to 30 the following year. For the 1990-91 season, Boughner was named Captain of the Greyhounds. That year he lead his team to the OHL Championship, where the Greyhounds captured the J. Ross Robertson Cup.
|Boughner turned pro in 1991, and was assigned to the Red Wings' ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Storm for the 1991-92 season. Though it was far from the NHL, Boughner plugged away, fighting to earn a spot in the big league. His play with Toledo earned him a one-game call up to the Red Wings top minor league affiliate, the Adirondack Red Wings of the American Hockey League. Boughner was assigned to Adirondack full time in 1992-93, and he played two years there, never earning a chance to play for his beloved Detroit Red Wings.
With his hopes dashed in Detroit, Boughner signed the following year as a free agent with the Florida Panthers. Once again, Boughner was unable to earn an NHL roster spot, and he was assigned to the Cincinnatti Cyclones of the International Hockey League for the 1994-95 season. In 1995-96 Boughner was transferred to the Carolina Monarchs of the AHL. Finally, late in the season, his break finally came. On February 1, 1996 the Panthers traded Boughner to the Buffalo Sabres for a 3rd Round pick in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft (which they used to select Chris Allen). In Buffalo, Boughner was reunited with his former junior coach, Ted Nolan.
|Two nights after he was traded, on February 3, 1996, Boughner made his NHL debut as a member of the Buffalo Sabres. He scored his first NHL point, an assist, on February 23 against the Philadelphia Flyers. It was the only point of the season for Boughner, who played 31 games and amassed 104 penalty minutes in his long awaited rookie campaign.
The 1996-97 season brought many changes for the Sabres. A new arena, new uniforms and a new winning tradition. For Boughner, it brought a new uniform number as well, as he switched from the number 4 which had been assigned to him when he arrived in Buffalo, to number 6. For Boughner, the year was spent chasing his first NHL goal. Boughner went 85 games without a goal from his debut the previous year, which was at the time, the longest goalless streak in the league. Finally, on February 21, 1997, more than a year after his NHL debut, Boughner one-timed a pass from Michael Peca past New York Islanders goaltender Eric Fichaud to end the drought. The goal was Boughner's only tally on the
|season. He finished the year with eight points, but added 225 penalty minutes, and finished third in that category behind Rob Ray and Matthew Barnaby. The Sabres, meanwhile, ended a drought of their own, winning the Northeast Division. It was the team's first division championship since the 1980-81 season.|
|Boughner's scoring woes carried over into the 1997-98 season. In 69 games that year, he scored only once, and added just three assists. He finished the year with 165 penalty minutes.
During his time with the Sabres, Boughner was prone to defensive lapses, and to getting caught out of position attempting to make a big hit. That, combined with his inability to score made Boughner expendable when it came time for the 1998 Expansion Draft. Boughner was left unprotected in the draft, and the expansion Nashville Predators snapped him up.
For Boughner, being selected in the expansion draft turned out to be a good career move. His playing time had begun to decrease, as the Sabres looked to give Jay McKee, their top defensive prospect, a bigger role in the lineup. With Nashville, Boughner went from being a fifth or sixth defenseman to being in the top three. Boughner was named an alternate captain with the Predators, and got more ice time then he ever would have in Buffalo. Boughner's play benefited from the increased ice time, and he developed into a more solid blueliner, less prone to making costly mistakes. For Boughner, the 1998-99 season would prove to be the best offensive season of his career to date. He scored three goals and added 10 assists.
|Boughner's stay in Nashville would prove to be short, as he was traded at the trading deadline in 2000 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Boughner finished out the 1999-00 season with the Penguins, scoring the game winning goal in his first game as a Penguin on March 16, 2000. Boughner stayed with the Penguins throughout the 2000-01 campaign, where he again was named an assistant captain. In the playoffs Boughner helped his team earn a birth in the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost to the New Jersey Devils.
At the end of the 2000-01 season, Boughner became an unrestricted free agent. On July 2, 2001, he signed with the Calgary Flames.
|Boughner in action against Bob Bassen of the Dallas Stars.|