Bruins fire head coach Bruce Cassidy after 6 seasons at helm

Bruins fire head coach Bruce Cassidy after 6 seasons at helm

The Boston Bruins have fired head coach Bruce Cassidy three weeks after the team was eliminated from the playoffs.Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced Monday that the team has relieved Cassidy of his duties, less than two years after Cassidy was named the National Hockey League’s Coach of the Year.Cassidy, 57, led the Bruins to the playoffs in each of his six seasons at the helm. Boston reached the Stanley Cup Final under Cassidy in 2019.”After 14 years working with Bruce, this was an extremely difficult decision,” Sweeney said in a statement. “I want to thank and acknowledge Bruce for all his work and success with the Bruins organization. His head coaching record for the Bruins is impressive, and we are appreciative of Bruce both professionally and personally. After taking some time to fully digest everything, I felt that the direction of our team for both this season and beyond would benefit from a new voice.Cassidy was hired as head coach of the Bruins on Feb. 7, 2017, taking over for 2011 Stanley Cup champion Claude Julien. He finished with 245 wins, 108 losses and 46 overtime losses in the regular season. His record in the postseason was 36-37.With the core of Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask, Cassidy brought Boston to the cusp of its seventh Stanley Cup title in 2019 before losing to the St. Louis Blues in seven games.He won the 2020 Jack Adams Award, given to the NHL’s top coach, after the Bruins finished with the best record in the NHL, earning the Presidents’ Trophy with 100 points in 70 games.But in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Bruins lost to the eventual champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round. Many felt Boston’s momentum from the regular season was disrupted by the season being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The Bruins were also eliminated in the second round of the playoffs in 2021 and had a disappointing first-round exit this year.”Bruce has been a fantastic coach and has helped this team win many games and achieve success over his tenure behind the bench,” Bruins president Cam Neely said in a statement. “I have the utmost confidence in Don to conduct a thorough search to identify the best candidate that is going to help our team reach its full potential.”Cassidy worked for the Providence Bruins, Boston’s American Hockey League affiliate, before being hired as the Boston Bruins’ head coach. He was an assistant coach for three seasons in Providence (2008-11) before being promoted to head coach, a role he would serve in for five seasons (2011-16).”On behalf of the Jacobs family, I’d like to thank Bruce and his family for their dedication to the Boston Bruins organization,” Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs said in a statement. “Throughout his time in both Providence and Boston, Bruce’s deep passion for the game and pride he showed in representing the franchise was undeniable.”Cassidy immediately becomes a top candidate for vacancies in Philadelphia, Chicago, Winnipeg, Vegas and Detroit and any others that may now come open because of his availability.Whoever takes over for Cassidy faces an unenviable task of coaching a lineup that is expected to be without first-line left winger Marchand and top defenseman Charlie McAvoy for at least the first two months of next season. Team captain Bergeron, who won a record fifth Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward, is also mulling retirement.AP sports writer Jimmy Golen contributed to this report.

The Boston Bruins have fired head coach Bruce Cassidy three weeks after the team was eliminated from the playoffs.

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced Monday that the team has relieved Cassidy of his duties, less than two years after Cassidy was named the National Hockey League’s Coach of the Year.

Cassidy, 57, led the Bruins to the playoffs in each of his six seasons at the helm. Boston reached the Stanley Cup Final under Cassidy in 2019.

“After 14 years working with Bruce, this was an extremely difficult decision,” Sweeney said in a statement. “I want to thank and acknowledge Bruce for all his work and success with the Bruins organization. His head coaching record for the Bruins is impressive, and we are appreciative of Bruce both professionally and personally. After taking some time to fully digest everything, I felt that the direction of our team for both this season and beyond would benefit from a new voice.

Cassidy was hired as head coach of the Bruins on Feb. 7, 2017, taking over for 2011 Stanley Cup champion Claude Julien. He finished with 245 wins, 108 losses and 46 overtime losses in the regular season. His record in the postseason was 36-37.

With the core of Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask, Cassidy brought Boston to the cusp of its seventh Stanley Cup title in 2019 before losing to the St. Louis Blues in seven games.

He won the 2020 Jack Adams Award, given to the NHL’s top coach, after the Bruins finished with the best record in the NHL, earning the Presidents’ Trophy with 100 points in 70 games.

But in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Bruins lost to the eventual champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round. Many felt Boston’s momentum from the regular season was disrupted by the season being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bruins were also eliminated in the second round of the playoffs in 2021 and had a disappointing first-round exit this year.

“Bruce has been a fantastic coach and has helped this team win many games and achieve success over his tenure behind the bench,” Bruins president Cam Neely said in a statement. “I have the utmost confidence in Don to conduct a thorough search to identify the best candidate that is going to help our team reach its full potential.”

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Cassidy worked for the Providence Bruins, Boston’s American Hockey League affiliate, before being hired as the Boston Bruins’ head coach. He was an assistant coach for three seasons in Providence (2008-11) before being promoted to head coach, a role he would serve in for five seasons (2011-16).

“On behalf of the Jacobs family, I’d like to thank Bruce and his family for their dedication to the Boston Bruins organization,” Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs said in a statement. “Throughout his time in both Providence and Boston, Bruce’s deep passion for the game and pride he showed in representing the franchise was undeniable.”

Cassidy immediately becomes a top candidate for vacancies in Philadelphia, Chicago, Winnipeg, Vegas and Detroit and any others that may now come open because of his availability.

Whoever takes over for Cassidy faces an unenviable task of coaching a lineup that is expected to be without first-line left winger Marchand and top defenseman Charlie McAvoy for at least the first two months of next season. Team captain Bergeron, who won a record fifth Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward, is also mulling retirement.

AP sports writer Jimmy Golen contributed to this report.


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