The Boston Bruins may still have key restricted free agents to sign in Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy, but they managed to take care of some other business Wednesday morning as they’ve signed head coach Bruce Cassidy to a multi-year extension. According to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, Cassidy’s new deal will pay him around $3 million per season.
Since taking over behind the Bruins’ bench in February of 2017, Cassidy has an impressive 117-52-22 record. He’s also coming off a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, which his team dropped in Game 7 to the St. Louis Blues last June.
The 54-year-old has the fourth-best winning percentage among coaches in franchise history and he became the second-fastest to reach the 100-win mark (166 games). Only Tom Johnson reached that milestone quicker than Cassidy did (Johnson did it in 138 games).
This successful stint with Boston is his second head-coaching job in the NHL. His first one came back in 2002, when he was head coach of the Washington Capitals. Unfortunately for Cassidy, he only lasted one season and a half in Washington before he was let go. He then served as an assistant in Chicago for one season before jumping to OHL Kingston for two years. He got back in the professional ranks when he served as the assistant coach of the Bruins’ farm team in Providence from 2008-2011. Cassidy eventually became the head coach in Providence from 2011-2016 and he joined the big club as an assistant in 2016-17. He eventually took over as head coach when Boston fired Claude Julien and he and the team haven’t looked back.
“When you’re around the game for an extra 15 years, you learn stuff,” Cassidy said before the Cup Final. “Different ways to communicate, different ways to see the game, how to delegate, how to use your staff, how to use your top-end players to help you find that common goal. I think that was the biggest difference. A lot of newness back then. This time around there’s a lot more experience at this level.”