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Bergeron Pushed For Golden Knights To Hire Cassidy



Boston Bruins

The Vegas Golden Knights apparently owe at least a stick tap, if not more, to Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron for winning their first Stanley Cup just six years into existence.

According to Vegas Golden Knights team president George McPhee, the Boston Bruins captain gave an emphatic stamp of approval of former Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy just during the team’s hiring process for a head coach just over a year ago. Golden Knights captain Mark Stone rang Bergeron to get the skinny on Cassidy. Bergeron urged him to tell McPhee and general manager Kelly McCrimmon to hire Cassidy if they wanted their NHL betting odds to win the Stanley Cup this past season to increase.


“They had their conversation, and then at the end of the call, Patrice said, ‘Holy smokes, Vegas is going to hire Bruce Cassidy, and they’re going to win the Stanley Cup next year,” McPhee explained.

This revelation flies in the face of the rumors that Patrice Bergeron is not a fan of Bruce Cassidy. However, it doesn’t mean that he wasn’t on board with a new voice behind the bench.

“He read the room, and it wasn’t a yay for Cassidy,” an NHL source with direct knowledge told Boston Hockey Now Friday. “But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a fan of ‘Butch’ [Cassidy]. He knew a change was needed there, but he also knew ‘Butch’ could win with the right roster.”

NHL betting definitely didn’t have Cassidy as an odds-on favorite to get fired, but he did. After indicating to Cassidy that his job was safe following a seven-game first-round series loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2022, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney changed his mind about the 2020 Jack Adams Award winner and fired him three weeks later. Almost immediately after that, numerous stories surfaced that a group of players – with Jake DeBrusk, Trent Frederic, Brandon Carlo, and veteran center David Krejci rumored to be the core of that group – went to Bergeron and Sweeney asking for a ‘new voice’ but nothing in terms of those specific players was ever confirmed concretely.

What was also never confirmed was that Bergeron and Cassidy fell out of favor with each other. Flying in the face of that is that Cassidy has on numerous occasions told the story of how in his first face-to-face meeting with Golden Knights center Jack Eichel after being named head coach of the team last June, he asked him to model his game after Bergeron.

“Bergy (Patrice Bergeron) is always the benchmark. We have tried to compare and tell Jack (Eichel) what were are looking for…. he has been excellent and really bought into it. He’s getting pucks back so now he can play with it coming up with lots of speed, and it has really helped his game,” Bruce Cassidy told Vegas Hockey Now back in November when discussing that initial one-on-one with Eichel last summer.

“Our center icemen in our system have to cover a lot of ice and be willing to close quickly in the D-zone. [Bergeron] has been one of the best I have ever coached because of his first and second steps.”

Cassidy also compared Stone to Bergeron during the 2023 Stanley Cup Final that he and the Golden Knights won in five games this past Tuesday.

From friend of Boston Hockey Now, Greg Wyshynski of ESPN this past Monday:

Cassidy coached one of those centers with the Boston Bruins: Patrice Bergeron, who has won the Selke a record five times.

“I see Stoney’s stick and ability to read plays and be a step ahead, and that’s where he’s most like Bergeron,” the coach said. “He knows where the puck’s going. He seems to have that sense to put out fires because of that.”

Cassidy noted another similarity between Bergeron and Stone: The limitations in their abilities. “They’re not the fastest guys on the ice,” he said. “I think they’ve played this way their whole life, and that’s why it’s second nature.”


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