One thing is for certain: Bruce Cassidy will not be out of work for very long after being fired as the head coach of the Boston Bruins this week.
The longtime Boston Bruins coach held a zoom availability with members of the Boston Bruins media on Thursday and spoke for nearly an hour while taking questions from all reporters on the call. Among the nuggets learned were that Cassidy has already spoken to “a number of NHL teams” about head coaching vacancies and that he plans to coach next again next season if the right job presents itself.
“At the end of the day did I still want to be here? Absolutely,” said Cassidy, of remaining with the Boston Bruins for next season. “Do I want to coach in this league? Yes, and as soon as possible. It’s what I do, is to coach, and I love to do it.
“Obviously I have a family, so I have to make sure it’s the right opportunity for both myself and my family. And that I’m the right fit for them and they’re the right fit for me. But yes, 100 percent.”
Cassidy’s record as a successful, innovative and very competent NHL head coach speaks for itself after posting 245 wins in his six seasons running the team while taking them to the playoffs each season and guiding them to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final during the 2019 playoffs. He said during Wednesday’s chat with the media that he was originally told he’d be returning to coach the 2022-23 NHL season in the final year of his contract, and then was notified that he’d been fired when Don Sweeney paid a visit to his Winchester home on Monday afternoon.
Don Sweeney went to Bruce Cassidy’s house on Monday to tell him he’d been fired. Prior to that, Cassidy said he had been told at exit meetings he’d be coaching into the final year of his contract. Totally understandable why he’d be pissed upon hearing that news
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) June 9, 2022
So where will Cassidy end up next season if does indeed coach again that quickly?
Frank Seravalli indicated that Cassidy is “on the list” for the Philadelphia Flyers, and he’s been linked to a young, talented Detroit Red Wings bunch during early speculation as well. One team to look out for: The Florida Panthers have the kind of veteran group that’s on the verge of something special, and Cassidy’s ability to coach the PP, cultivate offense and bring a defensive bent to a hockey team could be exactly what’s needed with the high-scoring Panthers.
Cassidy will have stiff competition for NHL jobs with established names like Barry Trotz, John Tortorella and Mike Babcock out looking for work as well, but is excited to be in the position even if he didn’t want to be there at all in the first place.
“I’m a free agent, obviously, now and I haven’t been in this position for a long time,” said Cassidy. “I didn’t ask to be in this position, to be perfectly honest with you. At the end of the day, I have friends in the industry and a ton of respect that have been in the industry a long time. And I have friends that are new to it.
“You’re always having discussions about hockey, career paths etc. But at the end of the day, for me, [it’s about] finding the right spot. For all I know one of my friends might end up being the next coach of the Boston Bruins. That’s just part of the business. There’s always a lot of really good coaches out there looking for the right opportunity to prove themselves. I was one of those young guys once and now I feel like I’m much further along because I’ve been able to build my resume and gain some experience in a solid organization with great hockey players. That’s helped me, but here I am.”
Wherever Cassidy lands, however, his past track record indicates that he’s going to be highly successful at his next landing spot and could really torment the Boston Bruins team that fired him if he ends up taking a vacant Atlantic Division post.