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It's said he who chases two rabbits catch none, but many pro coaches who also own major junior teams have tried to keep some skin in the day-to-day doings with the latter.
Four seasons ago, Bob Boughner felt compelled to return to the Windsor Spitfires after a single season in the big leagues with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Now Boughner, upon confirmation of last Saturday's report that he is joining the coaching staff of the San Jose Sharks, is emphasizing that will remain involved with the OHL team, which is around the midway stage of a growth cycle. The coach's departure won't hasten a full-scale change, as was speculated.
From Jim Parker (@winstarparker):
Boughner was quick to put an end to speculation to his future as majority owner of the Spitfires.
“There’s no changes in ownership,” Boughner said. “There no intention of selling any shares, so get rid of that rumour.
“I’m still staying as president and I want to assure people of that. Yes, I’m leaving for the season, but I will still be consulted on all player personnel changes. The minute my season’s done, I’ll be back in the office doing my thing 9 to 5. I’ll still be a part of this.”
In fact, he credits the minority ownership group of John Savage, Brian Schwab and Stephen Savage for helping make it possible to pursue this opportunity in San Jose.
“The organization is in a better environment than last time,” Boughner said in reference to the Columbus job. “The business part is good.
“One of the reasons we got these guys into the business is because these guys are very successful and they’ve done wonderful things in the community and given back and that won’t change. They’re loyal guys and great partners.” (Windsor Star)
It is a difficult balancing act. Dale Hunter, of course, came back to the London Knights after a partial season with the NHL's Washington Capitals in 2011-12. Brent Sutter eventually installed himself as coach with the WHL's Red Deer Rebels, which are hosting next season's Memorial Cup tournament.
Last November, Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy sold his ownership stake in the Quebec Remparts to Quebecor Media. Moreover, last month Brandon Wheat Kings coach, general manager and owner Kelly McCrimmon demurred from joining the Toronto Maple Leafs front office and decided to remain with Brandon.
That long-distance thing is doable with the right approach, though. Windsor's fans have been treated to the zenith that was back-to-back Memorial Cups in 2009 and '10 and the struggle of the past four seasons. One would imagine the hope on that end is that this all shakes out in a way that returns the team to something like normalcy.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @naitSAYger.