The Boston Bruins have named former Bruins defenseman John Gruden as their new assistant coach.
Gruden replaces former Bruins assistant coach Kevin Dean who was let go prior to former Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy being fired and new bench boss Jim Montgomery being hired on July 1.
Like Dean, Gruden’s specialty and focus is and will be on the blue line. He joins the Boston Bruins after spending the last four seasons (2018-22) as an assistant coach for the New York Islanders. The Islanders, as most NHL fans know, are a defense-first team and at times resemble the New Jersey Devils dynasty teams that found success using the neutral zone trap teams that current Islanders general manager and former Devils GM Lou Lamoriello oversaw.
Prior to becoming an NHL coach with the Islanders, Gruden was the head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League. Gruden led the Bulldogs to an OHL Championship and a 43-18-7 record in 2017-18. His first head coaching job came in 2015-16 for the Flint Firebirds (OHL).
Jon Gruden got his start in coaching as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2011-15. He helped lead USA to gold medals at both the 2012 and 2014 Under-18 World Championships.
Prior to his coaching career, Gruden was a pro defenseman for over ten seasons, from 1993-2004. The Boston Bruins selected Gruden in the eighth round (168th overall) of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot, 200-pound blueliner skated in 59 career NHL games with the Bruins from 1993-96.
As of now, the Boston Bruins coaching staff is full but as reported here this past weekend, Joe Sacco was scheduled to interview for the open head coaching job for the San Jose Sharks this week. Also scheduled to interview for the job in San Jose was former Boston University and New York Rangers head coach David Quinn, who was a finalist for the Boston Bruins head coaching post before Montgomery was hired.