The Boston Bruins announced on Monday night that they have fired head coach Bruce Cassidy after a seven-game loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in the first-round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“Today I informed Bruce Cassidy that I was making a head coaching change,” said GM Don Sweeney in a statement. “After 14 years working with Bruce, this was an extremely difficult decision. I want to thank and acknowledge Bruce for all his work and success with the Bruins organization. His head coaching record for the Bruins is impressive, and we are appreciative of Bruce both professionally and personally. After taking some time to fully digest everything, I felt that the direction of our team for both this season and beyond would benefit from a new voice. I want to wish Bruce, Julie, Shannon and Cole much success as a family and with their future opportunities.”
“On behalf of the Jacobs family, I’d like to thank Bruce and his family for their dedication to the Boston Bruins organization,” said Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs. “Throughout his time in both Providence and Boston, Bruce’s deep passion for the game and pride he showed in representing the franchise was undeniable. We wish Bruce, Julie and his entire family nothing but success in the future and thank them for all they’ve done for the team both on and off the ice.”
“I want to thank Bruce for his time and service to the Boston Bruins organization over the last 14 years,” said Bruins President Cam Neely. “Bruce has been a fantastic coach and has helped this team win many games and achieve success over his tenure behind the bench. I also want to extend my gratitude to Bruce and his family for everything they’ve done over the years to support the New England community and Bruins organization. We wish them continued success in the future.”
“I have the utmost confidence in Don to conduct a thorough search to identify the best candidate that is going to help our team reach its full potential,” Neely added.
The team finished the 2021-22 regular season 51-26-5 (.652 points percentage), sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins were three points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for third place in the Atlantic Division and seven points ahead of the Washington Capitals for the first wild-card spot.
In the regular season, Cassidy, who had one year at $3 million left on his contract, led Boston to 245-108-46 record (.672 points percentage) over parts of six campaigns, including a Presidents’ Trophy in the shortened 2019-20 slate. The Bruins were 36-37 (.493 winning percentage) in the postseason under Cassidy, including a seven-game loss in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final to the St. Louis Blues.
Cassidy went 47-47-9-7 in 110 games over two seasons behind the Capitals’ bench from 2002-04.
The Bruins finished the regular season 15th in goals-per-game (3.09), fourth in goals-against per game (2.66), tied for 15th on the power play (21.2%), and ninth on the penalty kill (81.3%).
Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron can become an unrestricted free agent on July 13 and is pondering retirement.
The Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers, and Vegas Golden Knights are the only other teams currently without a head coach for next season.
By Harrison Brown