It still remains undecided if NHL players are going to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, but if they do then Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy deserves a spot on the Team Canada coaching staff. It appears that Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper could end up being the head coach based on being on the verge of back-to-back Stanley Cup titles and his standing as one of the best hockey innovators in the game.
All signs pointing to Jon Cooper being named Team Canada’s head coach for the Beijing Olympics. https://t.co/QHkmqDOcv5
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 27, 2021
But the 56-year-old Cassidy absolutely deserves to be named to the Team Canada staff if the NHL does indeed participate, and it’s something he voiced interest in this past season while discussing options to coach Team Canada or Team USA as a dual citizen of both countries.
“I think it would be an honor to coach in the Olympics,” said Cassidy, who became a US citizen last October, earlier this season during a Zoom call with Bruins reporters. “For Canada, obviously. But if it meant being on the US side, I would certainly do it [too].
“Listen, I love the game, and I like being around the best players in the world. That’s my perspective on it. If I was able to pick and choose, I’d have a little more allegiance to Canada, because I spent the majority of my life as a Canadian.”
Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand would both be expected to be key players on Team Canada if NHL players do indeed participate in the Olympics, so that would be another compelling reason for Cassidy to be on the staff.
Cassidy’s resume speaks for itself as he’s led the Black and Gold to the playoffs in each of his five seasons as the B’s bench boss and has won the Jack Adams while posting a 194-82-41 record (.677 points percentage) during his time in Boston. It’s encouraging news for Cassidy that Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney is on the Team Canada management team along with St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong and Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland, but the B’s head coach deserves a spot on the Team Canada staff whether he has an “in” or not.
The real question now is whether or not the NHL can work out NHL player participation with the Olympics given all the hurdles in play due to COVID and player safety etc. a factor that has the NHL regular season schedule for the 2021-22 season still being held up at this point.
Now on to the BHN Puck Links:
*For those that missed it, we used the handy, dandy PuckPedia Expansion Draft Tool to create our own look who the Boston Bruins are likely to protect, or not protect, in the upcoming Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft. (Boston Hockey Now)
*Is Jake Guentzel a trade chip for the Pittsburgh Penguins as they are among a number of hockey teams looking at significant changes? (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
*Is it risky for a team to spend a first round pick on a goaltender? The Detroit Hockey Now folks say the research tells them that the answer is “No.” (Detroit Hockey Now)
*File this under: You haven’t lived until you’ve had a Bell Centre hot dog.
Two Bell Centre hot dogs after the second period is a Haggs tradition. The secret weapon is the buttered rolls https://t.co/o51W47tqlL
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) July 3, 2021
*Great piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Craig Morgan on the 25-year anniversary of the Arizona Coyotes franchise with an oral history from its very beginnings. (Arizona Coyotes Insider)
*The Toronto Maple Leafs now have the longest Stanley Cup drought in NHL history, which is a damn shame. (BarDown)
*There’s no need for scapegoats as the magic is wearing off big time for the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Final. (Montreal Gazette)
The mayor of Tampa wants the Lightning to lose Game 4 in Montreal so they can celebrate at home. 👀
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) July 5, 2021
*Tragic news out of Columbus where a 24-year-old goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks has suddenly and tragically passed away.
It’s with a very heavy heart that we share the news that goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks passed away last night at the age of 24.
We are heartbroken. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) July 5, 2021
*For something completely different: NBC is apparently taking bids to sell off their sports regional networks, so there could be big changes there in store for the future. (Awful Announcing)