After getting within one win of hoisting the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2019, former Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy is once again two wins away from his first Stanley Cup as head coach of the 2022-23 Vegas Golden Knights.
Tuesday was the one-year anniversary of the Boston Bruins firing Bruce Cassidy despite six straight trips to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, an Eastern Conference championship, four second round appearances, and a President’s Trophy. In a recent interview with Jesse Granger of The Athletic, the always candid Cassidy admitted the sting of being fired by the Bruins is still there for him.
“You take it a bit personal, right, but I know the circumstances,” Cassidy told Granger. “They did a good job of changing some things. We changed some things here that helped the Knights. Pete (DeBoer) changed things in Dallas that helped the Stars. You can’t beat yourself up over it. Coaches move. I got an opportunity there because a very good coach in Claude Julien got let go, so that’s just the way it works.”
What Cassidy wasn’t OK with was the feedback his kids had to continually endure in school and around Boston after the Bruins lost to St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, and subsequent playoff losses. That’s why he didn’t mind seeing the roster of players that by all accounts, got him fired, lose to the Florida Panthers in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. If the Bruins had followed up their record-breaking regular season with a Stanley Cup, Cassidy and his family would’ve never heard the end of it.
“I’m a big boy. I can deal with it,” Cassidy said. “What I was more concerned with was we have a house in Cape Cod, and we like it there in the summer. We have a lot of roots there. I worked there for 15 years and the kids were born there. I was a little relieved after (the Bruins) lost in the playoffs for my kids not having to hear about ‘Oh, if your dad had done a better job…’ You know what I mean? Kids say things.”
Ironically, the team the his former team couldn’t be in the first round, is all that stands in the way of Cassidy finally getting his name engraved on the Stanley Cup after over 20 years in the NHL, as a player, coach and scout. For the 58-year-old Cassidy, winning the Stanley Cup would mean everything.
“I don’t have my name on it,” Cassidy said. “I don’t want to say it’s everything, but in terms of my career, it is everything to win the Cup. Those (trophies) are all great. They are. They’re accomplishments, but they’re not the Stanley Cup. People talk about Stanley Cup champions, not Jack Adams winners or Presidents’ trophy winners.”