The offseason for the Boston Bruins has gotten off to a bad start. Due to surgery, Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy, and Matt Grzelcyk will all miss the start of the 2017 season, and there’s a good probability that their captain Patrice Bergeron may retire as a result.
The Boston Bruins Fired Bruce Cassidy On Monday, Starting A Busy Summer
The situation became considerably more complicated Wednesday when the team revealed that head coach Bruce Cassidy had been stripped of his duties. The search for a new head coach is just one more thing the Bruins will have to deal with this offseason.
The B’s one-two front office braintrust of general manager Don Sweeney and president Cam Neely made the decision to move on from Cassidy after the Black and Gold’s first first-round exit since 2017. Replacing the 2020 Jack Adams Award winner will be no easy task for sure.
The GM Of The Boston Bruins Discusses Bruce Cassidy’s Firing And The Team’s Future
During a Tuesday morning press conference, the Boston Bruins‘ general manager revealed more details about the decision to remove Bruce Cassidy.
Cassidy, who led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final in 2019, the best record in the league the following year, and at least 100 points in each of his four complete non-pandemic seasons behind the bench, was dismissed by the Bruins on Monday evening.
Three weeks after the team’s first-round playoff loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney revealed the move Monday night, calling it “an exceedingly tough choice.”
Sweeney described Cassidy’s firing as “a very, very painful choice” during Tuesday’s press conference, but one he believed was essential given the way the Bruins are headed.
“I just decided I wanted a change, and that’s where I landed yesterday afternoon,” he explained. “Both emotionally and professionally, it was a difficult decision.”
Sweeney refuted that the players had tuned Cassidy out, saying that the players “do not drive the bus” when it comes to the franchise’s future.
He explained, “I utilized the statement that we left something on the table, and they agreed with me.”
Sweeney stated that he has a list of prospects for the head coaching position, but that the process will take time.
Sweeney also mentioned that the Bruins could be in for a change next season, especially with key players like Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy having recently undergone surgery and will miss a significant amount of time.
“We’re going to make a change, similar to what we did in 2015 when we brought in some younger players,” he stated.
Sweeney also mentioned that the uncertainty surrounding Patrice Bergeron’s decision to retire or stay for another season will have a big impact on the direction the Bruins go.
“The question remains large in Bergeron’s mind,” he explained. “That is the query. When it comes to resurrecting a comparable type of roster, he’s a significant part of it… As of this now, I don’t have any clarity on it.”
Bruins Fans Suprised By Cassidy’s Firing
Given Cassidy’s previous success, including a Stanley Cup Final appearance, some Bruins supporters were startled by his dismissal.
“You know, he came close to winning the Stanley Cup.” When we go all the way, the fans here are ecstatic. Now it’s up to the next coach in line to adopt the same mindset “Joe Fox, a Boston Bruins fan, stated.
“Hopefully, a new coach can energise both the team and the city,” says one supporter “Caroline Hurly, a Boston Bruins fan, stated.
Since taking over for Claude Julien in February 2017, Cassidy has led the Bruins to the playoffs in each of his six seasons. In 2019, he led them to within one win of the Stanley Cup against the St. Louis Blues.
Since then, the squad hasn’t advanced past the second round, including a Game 7 loss to Carolina this spring. “We have to look at making some changes as far as how we play and the way we do some of the things,” team president Cam Neely said afterward.
At his end-of-season media availability, Neely said, “I think Bruce is a wonderful coach.” “He’s helped this organization achieve a lot of success.” As a coach, I like him. So, we’ll see what happens. But I believe we need to make some adjustments.”