After the Boston Bruins lost Assistant Coach Jay Pandolfo to Boston University last Friday, their AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins saw head coach Jay Leach head west to become an assistant coach with the Seattle Kraken on Monday.
Mark Divver of the New England Hockey Journal and RinksideRhodeIsland broke the news on both departures.
Congrats to Jay Leach, new Seattle Kraken assistant coach. Great opportunity for one of best young coaches in the pro game
— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) July 6, 2021
Leach, 41, also interviewed to become the first head coach in Kraken history but Seattle general manager Ron Francis ended up going with former Philadelphia Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol as his first bench boss. Leach took over the Providence Bruins bench when current Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy took over for Claude Julien back in February 2017. Leach began his coaching career in Germany in 2014-15, working under former Boston Bruins assistant Geoff Ward in Germany for Adler Mannheim. He then spent a year with the Pittsburgh Penguins’ AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, before joining the P-Bruins as an assistant in 2016-17.
After playing at Providence College and captaining the 2000-2001 Friars squad, Leach played 12 pro seasons with 11 of those 12 in the AHL. He spent three years in the Bruins’ organization, playing two games with the Boston Bruins in 2005-06. He also played for the Tampa Bay Lightning, New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, and the San Jose Sharks for a total of 70 NHL games.
Pandolfo spent 15 years in the NHL as a player, 13 with the New Jersey Devils. His final 18 NHL games, however, were with the Bruins in 2013 and after retiring, became a player development coach for the Bruins in 2014 and was elevated to director of player development in 2015. He became an assistant for the Boston Bruins when Cassidy took over the bench in Boston.
Pandolfo is returning to his alma mater, where he scored 79 goals and had 90 assists for 169 points in 136 games from 1992-96.
It’s a great day for our program as we welcome back two captains from the 1990s!
— BU Men's Hockey (@TerrierHockey) July 2, 2021
The Bruins will now look to replace Pandolfo in Boston and Leach in Providence. Providence Bruins assistant coaches Trent Whitfield and Ryan Mougenel appear to be the leading candidate for the P-Bruins head coaching gig.