Anytime Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy talks about the game of hockey, the chances are very good that you’re going to learn something.
That was the case again this week as Cassidy had an hour-long conversation about his background, coaching the Bruins and his likes and dislikes as a coach while a guest on the “Next Shift Hockey Podcast.” The roughly hour-long conversation was worth a listen from beginning-to-end, but the story from Cassidy’s first moments taking over for legendary Bruins coach Claude Julien really gives you a peek into part of what makes the Black and Gold so great year-in and year-out.
Last wk @NHLBruins coach Bruce Cassidy was kind enough to give us an hr of his time. We talk:
🚨His playing days
🚨Transition into coaching
🚨Leadership and Trust
🚨Taking advantage of 2nd opportunities
Great coach, great guy, great conversation!https://t.co/eUHnO01Bbz
— Sean Coffey (@SeanCof) December 7, 2020
“I’ve said this a number of times. I don’t think there’s a better group of professionals and leaders of men than Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron. And then we can go down through the team. When you look at Washington comparably,” said Cassidy, referencing his first NHL head coaching gig with the Washington Capitals 15 years earlier. “It was a little more difficult. I don’t think those guys [with the Capitals] were at the same level these guys are at. That’s just my opinion and I’m not trying to be disrespectful to the group in Washington.
“I’m older now too and in a better place to discuss things as well. The day I got the job [with the Boston Bruins] Bergie walked in – and he and Claude [Julien] had a great relationship and Claude had a lot to do with his development — and basically said ‘Listen, you’re my coach now. What do you need me to do?’ You’re pretty much getting a vote of confidence right away from the top-end guys. So, then you’re able to implement your plan and then get it up and running.”
For the Boston Bruins, the success happened almost immediately after the coaching change with the Bruins going on a tear that season that pushed them into the playoffs. Now, the Bruins have made the playoffs for four consecutive seasons and Cassidy is coming off a Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach.
But it all started in Boston with that brief conversation from No. 37 letting Cassidy know that the veteran leaders, and best players on the team, had his back completely. Since then the B’s head coach and his players have developed an excellent give-and-take that’s propelled them plenty of notable accomplishments.
Now on to the links:
What is the big deal about escrow and the NHL? PHN’s Dan Kingerski breaks it all down for those looking to break CBA disagreements don’t to simple terms. (Boston Hockey Now)
*Speaking of podcasts, here’s one called Behind the Mike where I sat down to discuss my sportswriting journey with FOH (Friend of Haggs) Pawtucket Red Sox announcer Mike Antonellis. (Behind the Mike)
*Interesting point from Larry Brooks that the expansion money from the Seattle Kraken could end up saving the 2020-21 NHL season. (New York Post)
*Speaking of saving money or creating revenue streams for the NHL, Patrick Johnston asks if the NHL should start putting more ads on their player jerseys. (The Province)
*Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk thinks that the Sens “are locked in for success” in the short term after blowing their team up and starting from scratch a few years ago. I don’t think Senators fans agree, respectfully. (Ottawa Sun)
*Congrats to Scarborough, Maine native and Fox rinkside reporter for the LA Kings Carrlyn Bathe as the first woman to be featured in the EA Sports NHL Live video game. (WGME.com)
*There have been many prospects over the years that felt like Boston Bruins but got away during NHL Draft weekend. Massive defenseman Kevin Bahl is one of those guys, and now he’s on cusp of making it big with the New Jersey Devils. (Devils.com)
*Apparently walking around with the Stanley Cup feels just like walking around in public with Mick Jagger, at least that’s what Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper is saying (NHL.com)
*For something completely different: All that talk about the Kenobi series filming in Boston, Massachusetts? Umm, never mind. (CBS Boston)