The Boston Bruins have long held simply being a quality person as a priority in staffing vacant spots within their organization, so some employment announcements in the front office and coaching staff this week should come as no surprise.
They also include some very familiar faces from past Boston Bruins glory.
Chris Kelly was always the natural fit to replace the departed Jay Pandolfo on Bruce Cassidy’s coaching staff and he’ll do exactly that this season as an assistant coach while working with ex-teammates Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Kelly’s voice, his hockey intelligence, his experience and the respect factor from inside the Boston Bruins dressing room should make it a very easy transition for the affable, longtime two-way center and 2011 Stanley Cup winner.
As Pandolfo did, one would suspect Kelly will work closely with the Perfection Line, coach the forward group as a whole and lend a hand in the penalty kill work as well.
Kelly played 14 seasons and over 800 career NHL games as a center and left wing in the NHL, including six seasons with the Boston Bruins. Kelly appeared in 288 contests with the Bruins, scoring 43 goals and notching 58 assists for 101 points after joining them as a trade deadline acquisition in the 2011 Stanley Cup season.
Former defenseman and fellow 2011 Cup winner Adam McQuaid was also added to the Boston Bruins front office as Player Development Coordinator, replacing Kelly in that post as he joins the NHL coaching staff. The humble, kind McQuaid was a “true Bruin” during his career in Black and Gold as a tough, tenacious stay-at-home defenseman that fiercely defended his teammates, and brought the thunder when he dropped the gloves with the toughest customers across the NHL.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound McQuaid got the most of his hockey abilities during a long NHL career, and played nine seasons with the Bruins from 2009-18, appearing in 462 games with the club and totaling 13 goals and 53 assists for 67 points with a plus-62 rating and 694 penalty minutes. McQuaid helped out the Bruins coaching staff on ice at last week’s Bruins Development Camp as a dry run of sorts prior to joining the organization, but there’s no doubt the hardnosed player brings a ton to the table in a player development role.
“As of now, [McQuaid] doesn’t have a formal role,” said Boston Bruins Director of Player Development and Personnel Advisor Jamie Langenbrunner last week of McQuaid’s presence during development camp. “I think Adam’s been around a little bit last year and is continuing to try to figure out what makes sense for Adam, and we were lucky enough to have him available for this week and come down and get a chance to be around some of our guys. We’ll see where it goes, both for Adam and for us.”
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 2, 2021
Ryan Mougenel also replaces Jay Leach as head coach for the Providence Bruins after spending the past three seasons (2018-21) serving as an assistant coach for the P-Bruins. The Scarborough, Ontario native served an additional five seasons as an assistant coach in the AHL with the San Jose Barracuda (2015-18), Worcester Sharks (2014-15) and Hershey Bears (2013-14).
There are rumors that other external candidates, like Providence College coach Nate Leaman, were being wooed for the head gig with the P-Bruins, but ultimately the Bruins stayed in-house with the hire as they routinely do when key positions open up.