Bruce Cassidy has worked wonders behind the Boston Bruins bench since taking over in 2017. This season, he has the Bruins on top of the Atlantic Division and looking like a strong contender to battle for the Stanley Cup once again in June.
This weekend, Cassidy is able to unwind as he represents the Bruins at the annual NHL All-Star Game. It is the first time he has had the honor of coaching in the annual mid-season exhibition.
“It’s an honor for me to represent the Bruins organization,” Cassidy told the media on Thursday. “It’s a reflection of how the players have played up to this point. Looking forward to it.”
Normally an intense figure behind the bench, Cassidy will be able to show off his lighter side a little more during tonight’s three-on-three tournament. It’s that lighter side that has made him such a hit with the Boston faithful.
“A little more lighthearted than the regular season, get to meet some good young talent, sort of network with a few coaches and have a good time.”
One thing Cassidy is really looking forward to? Watching, and meeting, the best players the NHL has to offer shine on the big stage of All-Star weekend.
“That’s the biggest part of it for me, to get to know a few of the players,” Cassidy admitted. “I’ve got to watch them in action. I know it’s not regular-season intensity – still you’ve got some high-end talent out there. Looking forward to that.”
Cassidy will coach an Atlantic Division team that features David Pastrnak, Brady Tkachuk, Mitch Marner, Jack Eichel and Victor Hedman.
There’s more to it than hockey for Cassidy. This weekend will also be a family experience for the bench boss.
“Family’s here, they’ll get to meet some of the players they watch on TV. Will be a thrill for them as well,” Cassidy said.
Bringing his family with him could have repercussions, however. If they get their way, there will be a new four-legged addition shortly.
“They met Pasta’s dog today – they want a dog, so that’s the lead story around our house today,” Cassidy said with a laugh and a smile. “They’re having a great time. That’s part of it. You want to create some good memories for them and that’s what we’re doing.”