The Spitfire Coaching Legacy
We are extremely proud of our heritage and are honoured to share some of this history with you.
The Coaches Series. Powered by Tim Hortons
In alphabetical order.
Alger Joseph Arbour – Windsor Spitfire 1949 – 1953
Al Arbour, born Alger Joseph Arbour in Sudbury Ontario on November 01, 1932 played for the Windsor Spitfires for four seasons when the OHL was called the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA). During his Spitfire career he appeared in 142 games and recorded 40 points. As a player Al spent twenty years in the NHL and AHL. He played his first professional game with the Detroit Red Wings in 1953 and was claimed by the Chicago Black Hawks in 1958, Al would help the team win a championship in 1961. Al then played for the Toronto Maple Leafs the next five years, winning another Cup in 1962. He was selected by the St. Louis Blues in their 1967 expansion draft and played his final four seasons with the team. After his playing career, he began his legendary coaching career starting with the St. Louis Blues, then heading to the New York Islanders. Arbour was the head coach for the Islanders for twenty seasons and won the coveted Stanley Cup four times in a row. He is the only coach in NHL history to coach 1,500 games for the same team. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996. We are proud and honoured to have Al Arbour as part of our timeless Spitfire history and winning tradition. Our first entry into our Spitfires coaching series may be our finest!
Bob Boughner – Windsor Spitfires – Current
Robert Boughner born March 8th 1971 is proudly from our home town Windsor Ontario, Canada. Affectionately known as the “Boogieman”. Bob played junior hockey for the Soo Greyhounds in the OHL before being selected 32nd overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings. Bob played for 6 NHL teams during his pro career.
After Bob’s playing career, he headed a new ownership group in Windsor purchasing the OHL Spitfires in February 2006. Bob has coached, been C.E.O, and President of the team during his storied tenure with the organization. Bob then served as an assistant coach in the N.H.L. with the Columbus Blue Jackets. In 2007–2008, he returned to coach the Spitfires to one of their best regular season finishes in history with 94 points. Bob was honored as OHL and CHL Coach of the Year with his Windsor organization.
On April 15, 2009, Boughner was named the OHL’s coach of the year for the second year in a row. On May 8, 2009, he coached the Windsor Spitfires to their first OHL championship in 21 years after finishing the regular season with a league best 115 points. Also, that same year went on to win Windsor’s first Memorial Cup, becoming the first team to lose the first two games of the tournament and still win the most coveted trophy in Junior Hockey.
The Spitfires successfully defended their Memorial Cup championship in 2010. On June 12, 2017, he was named the head coach of the Florida Panthers, having served as an assistant coach for the San Jose Sharks for the previous two seasons. On September 22, 2020, Bob Boughner became the Sharks’ permanent head coach. It’s possible that Bob could be the greatest Spitfires coach ever. No other coach in Spitfire history holds more championship rings than Bob Boughner. He will always be coach here in Windsor Ontario. His greatest asset as a coach is connecting the team together as one. The Spitfire organization is honoured to present Bob Boughner in it’s 2021 coaches series.
Bob Jones – Windsor Spitfire 2007 – 2015
Bob Jones was born in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario in 1970. He played for his hometown Soo Greyhounds in the OHL from 1985-1990. Bob was drafted to the Detroit Red Wings in the 9th round in the 1989 NHL Entry draft. Jones played in the IHL, AHL, ENGL and COHL. After his playing career, Bob started coaching in the OHL for the Soo Greyhounds. In 2007 Jones joined the Windsor Spitifires staff as an associate coach. Jones alongside Bob Boughner went on to win back to back OHL and Memorial Cup Championships with the Windsor Spitfires. Jones held the head coaching role for the 2010-11 season while Bob Boughner was assistant coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Following that, Jones was associate coach for four more years with the Spitfires before taking a head coaching job with the Oshawa Generals. Bob Jones is currently an assistant coach with the NHL Ottawa Senators working with former Spitfire legend D.J. Smith. We are so proud of Bob’s accomplishments and are proud to welcome him into our coaches series.
Claude Julien – Windsor Spitfire 1978 – 1981
Claude Julien comes from Blind River Ontario, a little town 164 kilometres west of Sudbury. During his 3 seasons with the Windsor Spitifres Claude played 94 games and registered 94 points. On September 28th 1981 he was drafted by the St. Louis blues. After his playing career he turned to coaching. His first position was with the Hull Olympiques of the QMJHL and they went on to win the Memorial cup in 1997. From 2000 to 2003, he served as head coach for the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, the minor league affiliate of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens. On January 17, 2003, Julien became head coach of the Montreal Canadiens. In 2003–04, his first full season as an NHL head coach, he led Montreal to a 93-point performance (41–30–7–4 record) and the second round of the 2004 Stanley Cup playoffs. Julien accumulated a record of 72–62–10–15 during his three seasons with the Canadiens. Julien was then announced as the head coach of the New Jersey Devils on June 13, 2006, becoming the 15th head coach in Devils history. On October 6, 2006, he won his first game as Devils head coach with a 4–0 win against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Carolina Hurricanes. On November 4, Julien won in his first return to Montreal as the Devils defeated the Canadiens, 2–1. On June 22, 2007, Julien was named the 28th head coach of the Boston Bruins. He was the coach of the Bruins for 10 seasons and won one Stanley Cup. He is now on his second stint as the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens and has been the coach for the last 5 seasons. We are honoured to have Claude in our series. A true champion.
Cory Stillman – Windsor Spitfire 1990 – 1992
Cory Stillman from Peterborough Ontario, played for the Peterborough Roadrunners Jr.B. (MTJHL) hockey club before being a 2nd round choice (27th overall) of the Windsor Spitfires. Stillman played for the Spitfires for two seasons recording 191 points. Stillman sits 27th on the all-time points list but has a significantly less amount of games played. Stillman started his professional career in 1992 when he was drafted sixth overall by the Calgary Flames. He played in the NHL for several teams between 1994 and 2011, winning the Stanley Cup twice (Tampa Bay 2004; & Carolina 2006). Stillman announced his retirement after 16 seasons in the NHL on September 8, 2011. He initially joined the Florida Panthers staff as a development coach in the proceeding 2011-12 season before returning to the Hurricanes the following year as the Director of Player Development and Director of Forwards Development. Stillman remained in his role with the Hurricanes from 2012 until May 25, 2017, when the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League announced the hiring of Stillman as their new head coach. He led the Wolves for three seasons with a 94–89–16 record. In 2020, he was hired by the Arizona Coyotes as an assistant coach. We are proud to have him as part of our storied legacy.
Denis Joseph “D.J.” Smith – Windsor Spitfire 1994 – 1997
D.J. Smith was drafted by the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League in the second round, 20th overall in the 1994 draft. Smith appeared in 188 games recording 143 points and 651 penalty minutes during his 3 year career. Smith was drafted by the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League in the second round, 41st overall at the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. On March 15, 1996, Smith was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a deal that included Wendel Clark and Mathieu Schneider going to Toronto, while the Islanders received Darby Hendrickson, Sean Haggerty, Kenny Jonsson, and Toronto’s first round draft pick in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. On March 26, 1997, Smith played in his first NHL game, earning an assist on a goal scored by Brandon Convery as the Maple Leafs defeated the San Jose Sharks 2-1. On March 29, Smith had his first career NHL fight against Rene Corbet of the Colorado Avalanche. Smith joined the Windsor Spitfires as an assistant coach working under newly hired head coach Moe Mantha. In 2006-07, the Spitfires replaced Mantha with Bob Boughner as the new head coach, Smith remained with the club as an assistant. During his OHL coaching career Smith won 2 Memorial Cups with Windsor and 1 with Oshawa. He spent 4 years with the Toronto Maple Leafs as an assistant and is now the head coach of the Ottawa Senators. We are honoured to have D.J. as part of our ranks.
Don Cherry – Windsor Spitfire 1951 – 1952
Don Cherry “Grapes:” from Kingston Ontario played for the Windsor Spitfires for one season. He appeared in 18 games during the 1951-92 campaign and recorded 3 assists as a defenseman. After the Spitfires he went on to play for the Barrie flyers before heading to the AHL for most of his playing career. After his playing career he started coaching the Rochester Americans for three seasons. After that stint he was the Boston Bruins coach for 5 seasons appearing in two Stanley Cup finals. In 1975 – 76, Cherry won the Jack Adams award for best coach. After Boston, Cherry was with the Colorado Rockies for one season. In the 2001-2002 season Cherry coached the Mississauga Icedogs of the OHL before retiring and launching his broadcast career with Hockey Night in Canada. We are proud to have Don Cherry in our ranks.
Jim Bedard – Windsor Spitfire 2016 – 2017
Niagara Falls Ontario native Jim Bedard played his junior year with the Welland Sabres before playing for the Sudbury Wolves in the OHA. Bedard was drafted in the sixth round 91st overall in the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft by the Washington Capitals. At the same time, Bedard was also drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the 10th round 106 overall in the 1976 WHA Amateur Draft. If you know your hockey history, the NHL ended up absorbing some of the WHA teams. Ultimately Bedard went the NHL route. He played for the AHL affiliate Hershey Bears for part of the season before being called up the big leagues. The following season Bedard started the season in the AHL again before being called up to the Capitals. He appeared in 30 games and had a 4.34 goals against average and a 86.4 save percentage. After the 1977-78 season with the Capitals, Bedard played in the CHL, AHL and IHL before heading to Europe for 13 seasons. He served as the long-time goalie coach of the Detroit Red Wings up until 2016. In 2016 he was the goalie coach for the Windsor Spitfires for the 2016-2017 season. He then went up to the AHL for one season with the Texas Stars before retiring.
Jimmy Skinner – Windsor Spitfire 1947 – 1953
Jimmy Skinner was born in Selkirk Manitoba, he played a few seasons with the Flin Flon Bombers of the SSHL. Jim had one season with the Indianapolis Capitals of the AHL before playing for the Omaha Knights in the USHL for two seasons and then retiring. Jack Adams offered him a chance to coach the Windsor Spitfires in 1947–53. As the Spitfire head coach Skinner had a record of 122-109-11. He had one brief departure in 1951–52 campaign when the Spitfires left Windsor for Hamilton where the team was renamed the Hamilton Tiger Cubs. In that season the team went 31-24-3. At the end of that season, Jack Adams offered Skinner a new position as the Head Coach the Detroit Red Wings. He won the Stanley Cup in 1954-55 season. He was inducted into the Detroit Red Wings Hall of Fame in 1977, a member of the Flin Flon Hockey Hall of Fame and inducted into the Windsor Essex County Sports Hall of Fame as a Founder in 2006. He was also inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in the “Builder” category in 1986. He was inducted as a “Builder” into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame on May 24, 2014. We are so proud to be able to have Jimmy Skinner as part of our storied history.
Joel Quenneville – Windsor Spitfire 1975 – 1978
Joel Quenneville was born in Windsor Ontario in 1958. He got his start in hockey with his hometown team the Windsor Spitfires of the OHA. During his three seasons with the team, he played 197 games and recorded 229 points. Quenneville was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2nd round 21st overall in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft. Joel spent one season with the St. John’s Maple Leafs before taking a head coaching position with the Springfield Indians in 1993. At the start of the 1994 season Quenneville was promoted to an Assistant Coach with the Quebec Nordiques, following the 1994-95 season the team was relocated to Colorado and became the Avalanche where Quenneville spent two seasons. Quenneville got his first NHL head coaching job with the St. Louis Blues in 1996. He spent eight seasons with the Blues. He then was hired to be the next Colorado Avalanche head coach in the 2004-05. Joel held the position with the Avalanche for three seasons before leaving the organization. Quenneville was hired by the Chicago Blackhawks in September 2008 as a pro scout. A month later Quenneville was promoted to head coach to replace Denis Savard. Joel Quenneville spent eleven seasons with the Blackhawks and won the Stanley Cup three times with the team. He is now he head coach of the Florida panthers. A true sportsman and champion. We are proud to have Joel in our ranks.
Johnny Wilson – Windsor Spitfire 1947 – 1949
Johnny Wilson from Kincardine, Ontario spent three seasons with the Windsor Spitfires recording 85 points in 73 games. After three seasons with the Windsor Spitfires, Wilson signed his first professional contract with the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League. Johnny joined the Red Wings and went on to help them win 4 Stanley Cups (1950, 1952, 1954, 1955). In 1967, Wilson was hired as the head coach of the Springfield Kings of the American Hockey League, the minor league affiliate of the new Los Angeles Kings expansion team. Midway into his third season with Springfield, Wilson was promoted to interim head coach of the Los Angeles Kings after Hal Laycoe was fired following a dismal start to the season. However, Wilson was unable to turn the team around and returned to Springfield after the season was finished. He ended up leading Springfield to a Calder Cup title the very next season. After winning the Calder Cup in 1971, Wilson was hired by the Detroit Red Wings during the 1971–72 season as a midseason replacement. Despite having a winning record behind the Wings’ bench, the team missed the playoffs two straight seasons and Wilson was let go. It would be 15 years before another Red Wings’ coach would better Wilson’s record. From there, he spent two years in the World Hockey Association, one with the Michigan Stags/Baltimore Blades (1974–75) and one with the Cleveland Crusaders (1975–76). He returned to the NHL, coaching one season with the Colorado Rockies (1976–77), and three with the Pittsburgh Penguins (1977–80), where he led the Penguins to two playoff appearances. Wilson returned to coach Springfield one more season and then retired from coaching in 1981. Wilson was named coach of the Canadian team that competed at the 1977 IIHF World championship tournament in Vienna. Canada, making an appearance at the event for the first time since 1969, finished fourth. The team was composed entirely of players whose teams had not qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs. An amazing addition to our already stellar line up. A true Champion of the sport.
John Muckler – Windsor Spitfire 1951 – 1952
John Muckler was born in Midland, Ontario in 1934 and raised in Paris, Ontario, John was a defenceman in the minor leagues for 13 seasons, playing the bulk of his career in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL). In the early parts of his career he played for the Detroit Hettche for two seasons before playing for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHA for one season. As a Spitfire, Muckler appeared in 48 games and recorded 5 points as a defenceman. Muckler began his professional coaching career as a player/coach in 1959 with the EHL’s New York Rovers. He then spent the next 20 years in off-ice positions with the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars and Vancouver Canucks before joining the Edmonton Oilers organization in 1981. During those 20 years, Muckler served briefly as head coach of the North Stars in 1968–69, and won multiple regular-season titles, playoff championships and league coach-of-the-year honours in the minor leagues. For his successes, The Sporting News named him the top coach in minor-league hockey in 1979. While with the Oilers, Muckler served as an assistant coach with the Stanley Cup winners under head coach/general manager Glen Sather in 1984 and 1985. After the 1984-85 season, Sather began splitting most coaching duties with Muckler, who was named assistant head coach. He won two more Cups in 1987 and 1988. When Sather relinquished his coaching duties in 1989, Muckler was promoted to head coach and led the club to its fifth Stanley Cup in seven years in 1990. In 1991, Muckler left the Oilers organization and was hired by the Buffalo Sabres. Initially the club’s director of hockey operations, he soon accepted the team’s head coaching position and guided the Sabres for the next four seasons. He also assumed the role of Sabres’ general manager in 1993. A finalist for the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year in 1994, Muckler stepped down from coaching in 1995 to focus on his front-office duties and was named “NHL Executive of the Year” by The Sporting News for the 1996–97 season. Sabres President Larry Quinn fired Muckler in the 1997 offseason. Muckler’s last coaching position was as head coach of the New York Rangers from 1997 to 2000. His career coaching record is 276–288–84, combined with a 233–167–53–7 career record as an NHL general manager, and he has been involved in more than 2,000 professional games in varying roles. His résumé also includes three appearances at the National Hockey League All-Star Game and two appearances (1984 and 1987) on the coaching staff of the Canada Cup-winning Team Canada. Muckler joined the Ottawa Senators as general manager in June 2001, and presided over what was arguably the team’s most successful period. Sadly John recently passed away. We are honoured to have had him in our family and he will always be honoured by our franchise.
Larry Wilson – Windsor Spitfire 1947 – 1949
Larry Wilson from Kincardine Ontario played three seasons with the Spitfires and two with his brother Johnny Wilson. As a Spitfire, Larry Wilson recorded a total of 76 points in 46 games played. Wilson played 152 career games with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Black Hawks winning the Stanley Cup in his first season with Detroit (1949–50). Wilson later became the interim head coach of the Red Wings during the 1976–77 NHL season. He was also head coach of the Kansas City Red Wings in the Central Hockey League in the 1977–78 and 1978–79 seasons. Wilson was the father of former NHL player and head coach Ron Wilson. His older brother, Johnny Wilson, also played and coached in the NHL. We are so honoured to have the Wilson family in our Spitfire history.
Marcel Pronovost – Windsor Spitfire 1947 – 1948
Marcel Pronovost is from Lac a la Tortue, Quebec. Pronovost played for the Windsor Spitfires for one season in 1947-48. The defenceman recorded 24 points in 33 games played. He played in 1,206 games over 20 National Hockey League (NHL) seasons for the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs between 1950 and 1970. A top defenceman, Pronovost was named to four post-season NHL All-Star Teams and played in 11 All-Star Games. He was a member of four Stanley Cup championship teams with the Red Wings, the first in 1950, and won a fifth title with the Maple Leafs in 1967. Pronovost was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a player in 1978. Pronovost began coaching in 1969 and spent several seasons behind the bench of the junior Hull Olympics. He was head coach of the Chicago Cougars in the World Hockey Association’s inaugural season in 1972–73, coached 104 games in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres between 1977 and 1978 and was briefly an associate coach of the Red Wings.Pronovost worked for the NHL Central Scouting Bureau for five years until 1990, when he was hired as a scout for the New Jersey Devils, with whom he was a member of three Stanley Cup championship teams, with the last coming in 2003. The 53-year span between his first championship and his last is a Stanley Cup record. Pronovost was the head coach of the Windsor Spitfires for 2 seasons in 1981-82 and 1982-83. Pronovost’s final season as a coach came in 1984–85 when he led the junior C Belle River Canadiens to the franchise’s first league title and a Clarence Schmalz Cup win as Ontario provincial champions. Marcel will always be a Spitfire. We are honoured to have him in our family.
Mike Kelly – Windsor Spitfire 1994 – 1996
Mike Kelly was born in Oakville, Ontario and he played his junior hockey with the Fredericton-based UNB Varsity Reds of the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union. After his playing career he served as the assistant coach of the London knights during from 1988-1993. He then held a one year position with the PEI Senators of the AHL. In 1995, Kelly was hired by the Windsor Spitfires to be the teams head coach. He served two seasons with the Spitfires. He then returned to UNB in 1996 as head coach, where lead the team to a University Cup appearance in 1997 and won it in 1998. He returned to the OHL as a head coach of the North Bay Centennials from 1998 to 2002. He also had coaching roles with the Canadian junior national teams from 2000 to 2003. He spent one season as head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Western Hockey League in 2003–04. In 2005, he moved on to professional teams working as an assistant coach under Alain Vigneault with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League, the affiliate of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Vancouver Canucks. Kelly was then promoted to the same role with the Canucks when Vigneault became head coach before the 2006–07 season and then left in 2008. Kelly then served as associate coach under Gerard Gallant with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) from 2009 to 2012, in which the Sea Dogs became the first QMJHL team to have three 50-win regular seasons in a row and the first team to bring a Memorial Cup title to the Maritimes. Kelly won the 2010–11 Maurice Filion Trophy as the QMJHL general manager of the year. After Gallant left, he became the head coach and general manager for the Sea Dogs for the 2012–13 QMJHL season. Kelly was released by the Sea Dogs early into the 2013–14 season. Kelly was hired onto Gallant’s staff with the Florida Panthers in 2014. He was named an assistant with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL expansion team in 2017.
Paul Maurice – Windsor Spitfire 1984 – 1988
Paul Maurice was born in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario, and was born in 1967. Maurice played 4 years with the Windsor Compuware Spitfires from 1984-1988. After his rookie season, Maurice was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 12th round, 252nd overall, in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, which was the final selection of that year’s draft. Maurice began the 1987–88 season playing with the Spitfires, and in 32 games, he had a goal and five points. As a result of his eye injury, he still has a blind spot and suffers fuzziness on the right side of his vision. When goaltender Pat Jablonski was sent down to the Spitfires by the NHL’s St. Louis Blues, the club was forced to vacate a spot on the team to accommodate him. Singled out, Maurice was given the option by team owner Peter Karmanos to be traded or to become an assistant coach with team. Choosing the latter, Maurice retired from hockey and focused his career on coaching. Maurice began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Spitfires after he retired as a player. He began working under head coach Tom Webster. The Spitfires finished the 1987–88 season with the best record in the league, going 50–14–2. In the playoffs, Windsor swept the Kitchener Rangers, Hamilton Steelhawks and Peterborough Petes to win the J. Ross Robertson Cup and earn a berth in the 1988 Memorial Cup. In the round-robin portion of the tournament, the Spitfires went 3–0, outscoring the opposition 18–9, and clinched a position in the Memorial Cup final. In the final game, the Spitfires were upset by the Medicine Hat Tigers, losing 7–6. Maurice left his job as an assistant coach with the Spitfires in the summer of 1990, opting to join Peter Karmanos, who became the owner of the expansion team, the Detroit Compuware Ambassadors. Maurice was hired as an assistant coach. After this stint, Maurice was promoted to assistant of the Hartford Whalers in the 1995 season. The following two seasons he was promoted to head coach of the whalers. After Hartford moved to Carolina, Maurice was the head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes for 7 seasons. On June 24, 2005, Maurice was hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs to become the head coach of their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. Maurice became the head coach of the Maple Leafs in the 2006–07 season. Paul rejoined the Carolina Hurricanes on December 3, 2008, after the club fired Head Coach Peter Laviolette. On January 12, 2014, the Winnipeg Jets hired Maurice as head coach, and has been the coach since.
Paul McFarland – Windsor Spitfire 2004 – 2006
Paul Mcfarland was born in Richmond Hill Ontario in 1985. McFarland joined the Windsor Spitfires to finish the 2004–05, following a mid-season trade from the Kitchener Rangers. On January 13, 2005, McFarland played in his first game with Windsor, as he scored a goal against Ryan Nie of the Plymouth Whalers in a 5–2 victory. In 26 games with the Spitfires, McFarland scored three goals and 11 points. On March 31, McFarland played in his first playoff game with the Spitfires, and earned his first career playoff point, as he assisted on the overtime winning goal scored by Steve Downie, in a 4–3 win over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. In 11 playoff games, McFarland earned two assists.
In 2005–06, McFarland was named captain of the club. On October 8, McFarland scored the first multi-goal game of his career, scoring two goals against the Plymouth Whalers in a 6–5 loss. On October 27, McFarland set a career-high for points in a game, as he scored two goals and added an assist for three points, in a 6–4 win over the London Knights. On November 5, McFarland scored his first career hat trick, and added two assists, for a new career-high of five points in a game, as the Spitfires defeated the Saginaw Spirit 8–2. In 65 games during the regular season, McFarland set career highs in goals with 22, and points with 37. On April 2, 2006, McFarland scored his first career post-season goal, as he scored the game-winning goal against Justin Peters in a 7–4 win over the Plymouth Whalers. In seven playoff games, McFarland scored two goals and seven points. McFarland joined the Acadia Axemen of the Atlantic University Sport for the 2006–07 season and played for the, for 4 seasons.
2 years out of university in 2012, McFarland landed an assistant coaching job with the Oshawa Generals with the head coach and former Spitfire DJ Smith. He coached in Oshawa for two seasons before landing a head coaching job with the Kingston Frontenacs. McFarland coached the Frontenacs for three seasons before being promoted to the NHL. McFarland landed an assistant coach position with the Florida panthers and worked with former Spitfire coach, Bob Boughner. He was in Florida for two seasons before heading to the Toronto Maple Leafs to join Mike Babcock and DJ Smith. McFarland was with the leafs for one year and then resigned.
He resigned to rejoin the Kingston Frontenacs on May 8th, 2020 as head coach, and on August 18th, 2020, McFarland was promoted to general manager and head coach.
Peter Deboer – Windsor Spitfire 1985 – 1989
Peter Deboer is from Dunnville Ontario which is a small town 50 minutes south of Hamilton and 30 minutes west of Welland. Deboer was a member of the Windsor Compuware Spitfires from 1985-1989. DeBoer was drafted 237th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. After Windsor, DeBoer went on to play for the Milwaukee Admirals of the International Hockey League (IHL), playing two full seasons with them. In his last season with the Admirals, he scored 27 goals and 34 assists for 61 points and retired after that season. DeBoer’s coaching career started when he became an assistant coach for the Detroit Junior Red Wings during the 1994–95 season. During the 1995 off-season, the club was renamed the Detroit Whalers and DeBoer was promoted to the dual position of head coach-general manager after former Spitfire and teammate Paul Maurice left the team to become the coach of the NHL’s Hartford Whalers. DeBoer guided the Whalers to a first-place finish in the West Division, as Detroit advanced to the third round in the playoffs. In 1998–99, DeBoer led the team to an OHL-leading 106 points, earning them the Hamilton Spectator Trophy, and DeBoer winning the Matt Leyden Trophy as OHL Coach of the Year. DeBoer then took over the Kitchener Rangers at the start of the 2001-2002 season and coached the team seven years and in his final season won the OHL Championship but lost the Memorial Cup to the WHL Spokane Chiefs in Kitchener. DeBoer became the head coach of the Florida Panthers, he held the position for three seasons before holding positions with NJ Devils for 4 seasons, the San Jose Sharks for 5 seasons. He is currently in his second season with the Vegas Golden Knights.
Rocky Thompson – Windsor Spitfire 2015 – 2017
Rocky Thompson born in Calgary, Alberta, and raised in Whitecourt, Alberta. After playing four seasons in the Western Hockey League, Thompson made his professional debut with the Flames’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Saint John Flames. He appeared in 15 NHL games with the Flames during the 1997–98 and 1998–99 seasons. He made a brief return to the NHL with the Florida Panthers, appearing in ten games during the 2000–01 and 2001–02 seasons. In only 25 NHL games, Thompson racked up 117 penalty minutes. Following his professional career, Rocky Thompson turned to coaching, becoming the assistant coach for the expansion Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League in 2007. He would later become an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Barons.On July 16, 2014, Thompson was promoted to assistant coach of the Edmonton Oilers. On July 3, 2015, Thompson was hired as head coach of the Windsor Spitfires. In his first season, he took a Spitfires team that finished last in the conference and guided them to 87 regular-season points and second place in the OHL West Division. Thompson coached the Spitfires as they became champions of the 2017 Memorial Cup. On June 7, 2017, Thompson was hired as head coach of the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League. He spent three seasons in the position before joining the San Jose Sharks as an associate coach on September 22, 2020. A true Spitfire Champion.
Steve Ott – Windsor Spitfire 1999 – 2002
PEI’s Steve Ott was born in 1982. Ott later moved to Stoney Point, Ontario. He played his minor hockey with the Sun County Panthers of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) and the Belle River Canadiens (Great Lakes Junior C Hockey League) in the mid-1990s before signing for the 1998–99 season with the Leamington Flyers Junior B club (WOJHL). After a solid season, Ott was selected in the second round, 41st overall, of the 1998 OHL Priority Selection by the Windsor Spitfires. Ott played for the Spitfires for three seasons. He was a consistent producer for the club putting up 62 points in his rookie season followed by 87 in his sophomore campaign. Ott was a first round draft pick of the Dallas Stars, 25th overall, at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. He then played his final junior hockey season for Spitfires and had 88 points. Ott had a brief spell with the Utah Grizzlies of the American Hockey League (AHL) before joining the Stars’ NHL roster. Ott played for the Dallas Stars, Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens. After his playing career, Ott joined the St. Louis Blues as an assistant coach and has been there for three seasons. He won the coveted Stanley Cup in 2019. We wish him continued success on his fantastic career.
Tom Webster – Windsor Spitfire 1985 – 2003
Tom Webster was born in Kirkland Lake Ontario which is a small town 140 kilometers south east of Timmins. Webster was originally selected by the Boston Bruins in the 1966 NHL Entry Draft, Webster played in a total of 102 National Hockey League (NHL) games with the Bruins and Detroit Red Wings. Tom scored 30 goals for the Red Wings in the 1970-71 season. He also played 352 games for the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association. Webster began coaching in the AHL with the Adirondack Red Wings and positions with the Springfield Indians, Tulsa Oilers and Salt Lake Golden Eagles before joining the Windsor Compuware Spitfires as the head coaching position in 1985. Tom Webster was then named the Head Coach for the LA Kings where he would coach for 3 seasons. Tom went on to an assistant coaching position with the Flyers, Whalers and Hurricanes. In 1999, Webster returned to the Windsor Spitfires as the head coach for 4 more seasons. In 2003, Webster was promoted to amateur scout for the Calgary flames and held that position until 2014. In 2012, he was inducted into the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame. There is no doubt that Tom Webster is one of our most beloved coaches ever. Forever a Spitfire.
Wayne Maxner – Windsor Spitfire 1973 – 1993
Halifax Nova Scotia’s Wayne Maxner played for the Niagara Falls Flyers of the OHA. He led the Ontario Hockey Association junior A league in scoring in 1962–63 and won the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy as league MVP. He played 54 games for the Bruins in 1964–65, and eight more the following season. In 62 NHL games, Maxner scored eight goals and nine assists. Maxner served as the Windsor Spitfires head coach on numerous occasions. He started in 1973 when the Spitfires were part of the SOJHL. He then went to the Hull Festivals for the 1974-75 season before returning to the Spitfires for the next 5 seasons. He coached the Adirondack Red Wings and the Detroit Red Wings for parts of two seasons between 1980 and 1982. After the stint with the Red Wings, Maxner returned to the Spitfires for one season. He then went on to coach the Sudbury Wolves for one season and the London Knights for 4 seasons. He returned to the Spitfires in 1991 and coached the team for two seasons. We can’t thank Wayne or his family enough for his many years of service in our organization.
Glenn Hall – Windsor Spitfire 1950 – 1951
Glenn Hall was born in Humboldt Saskatchewan in 1931. He played his junior hockey career with the Humboldt Indians and the Windsor Spitfires. He played for the Spitfires for 2 seasons in 1949-50 and 1950-51. He played in 97 games and had a 3.30 goals against average. he signed with the Detroit Red Wings in 1949. The first few years of his NHL career were spent playing in Detroit’s minor system. In the 1952 playoffs he was called up from the minors to be the backup goalie in the finals. He made the Red Wings’ lineup as their starting goalie in the 1955–56 season, displacing Terry Sawchuk. Hall played in every game of his first full season with the Red Wings, recording twelve shutouts, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year and being voted the Second Team All-Star goaltender. Hall seldom missed a game and was a consistent performer, winning the Vezina Trophy, which at the time was awarded to the goaltender on the team allowing the fewest goals against (a distinction that now results in being awarded the William M. Jennings Trophy), three times, being voted the First Team All-Star goaltender a record seven times, and winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as best rookie. Nicknamed “Mr. Goalie”, he was the first goaltender to develop and make effective use of the butterfly style of goalkeeping. In 2017 Hall was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history. Hall won his third Stanley Cup as the goaltender coach with Calgary Flames in 1989. Glenn Hall, an outstanding part of our Spitfire heritage.
Paul McFarland – Windsor Spitfire 2004 – 2006
Paul McFarland was born in Richmond Hill Ontario in 1985. McFarland joined the Windsor Spitfires to finish the 2004–05, following a mid-season trade from the Kitchener Rangers. McFarland joined the Acadia Axemen of the Atlantic University Sport for the 2006–07 season and played for the, for 4 seasons. 2 years out of university in 2012, McFarland landed an assistant coaching job with the Oshawa Generals with the head coach and former Spitfire DJ Smith. He coached in Oshawa for two seasons before landing a head coaching job with the Kingston Frontenacs. McFarland coached the Frontenacs for three seasons before being promoted to the NHL. McFarland landed an assistant coach position with the Florida panthers and worked with former Spitfire coach, Bob Boughner. He was in Florida for two seasons before heading to the Toronto Maple Leafs to join Mike Babcock and DJ Smith. McFarland was with the leafs for one year and then resigned. He resigned to rejoin the Kingston Frontenacs on May 8th, 2020 as head coach, and on August 18th, 2020, McFarland was promoted to general manager and head coach.