According to an NHL source close to the situation, the Boston Bruins are still conducting their first wave of interviews with candidates to replace Bruce Cassidy as their next head coach.
‘I know that they were bringing in at least one coach for his first interview today and another one, potentially two tomorrow,” the source told Boston Hockey Now late Thursday morning. “I think at some point next week, they will start to trim it down. Obviously they’d like to get this done by the draft but that’s not set in stone.”
Note: Out of respect for the coaching candidates and the interviewing process, the source declined to reveal who the candidates interviewing Thursday and Friday were.
Based on convos with this source and someone close to one of the candidates to become the next head coach, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney wasn’t earlier this month when he made it clear that this process wouldn’t be rushed. Sweeney and team president Cam Neely aren’t just looking for a win now coach but rather one that can run the bench through some potential trying times as the Boston Bruins shift into what at least will be a reset.
“The coach has to have the communication skills to be able to bridge that gap with older and younger players,” the Boston Bruins GM told the media after firing Bruce Cassidy on June 6. “I think that’s paramount now with integration. As I said, in a perfect world, all players are overcooked or overbaked [before they reach the NHL]. Kenny Holland and my peer group have used that terminology. And we won’t be any different. But I go back to the [Fabian] Lysells of the world. Only when they’re ready. I mean, David Pastrnak is a great example of that a number of years ago. We didn’t necessarily believe he was ready, but he came in and scored against Philadelphia and next thing you know, he’s in our lineup for the rest of the year and [being] impactful moving forward.
Those will be the challenges that we try and find the balance of development and an infusion of talent, and the new coach is going to have to be able to communicate and bridge that gap from older players, communicating with them and holding them to a standard that I think we all feel is necessary. In this town, it is necessary to hold a team to a competitive standard. That coach has to walk that walk.”
As reported here and by multiple news outlets before, former Providence Bruins head coach and Seattle Kraken assistant coach Jay Leach, former Boston University and New York Rangers head coach David Quinn, former University of Denver and Dallas Stars head coach Jim Montgomery, current Boston Bruins assistant coach and Colorado head coach Joe Sacco, and former Providence Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs assistant coach Spencer Carbery have interviewed for the job.
So counting the 1-3 candidates scheduled to interview Thursday and Friday, the Bruins will have interviewed 7-8 candidates by this weekend. It appears that list will be pared down starting next week.