It did not take Bruce Cassidy very long to land a new head coaching job in the NHL.
Just one week after being fired by the Boston Bruins, Cassidy was announced as the new head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday afternoon. He will be the third head coach in franchise history and is replacing Peter DeBoer after he was let go at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season.
“The Golden Knights are very pleased to have Bruce come in to coach our team,” said Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon in a statement released by the team announcing the hiring.
“His success in Boston over six years is extremely impressive. His teams have had a clear identity, having been among the very best in the NHL in terms of goals for, goals against, goal differential and special teams. This is the right coach for our team at this time.”
“I am excited to join an organization that shares my commitment to winning and can’t wait to get to work with the talent that has been assembled in Vegas,” said Cassidy in the same statement.
“It’s been impressive to watch the city embrace the Golden Knights from afar, and my family and I look forward to becoming a part of that.”
On the surface this seems like a solid match for both team and coach.
Cassidy gets to join a team that should be a contender with a roster that should have better health luck than it did a year ago.
The Golden Knights get one of the league’s top coaches as they try to get back to the Stanley Cup Final (and ultimately win it). They have been all in on trying to win from their inaugural season and been a constant contender from day one. The 2021-22 season, though, ended up being a bitter disappointment as they struggled down the stretch and ended up shockingly missing the playoffs for the first time franchise history.
There were no shortage of issues from injuries, to continued goalie drama, to some curious decisions by DeBoer.
Injuries were one of the bigger issues as Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Jack Eichel, among other top players, all missed significant time during the regular season. Better health luck there, as well as a full season from Eichel a year removed from neck surgery, should make a big difference.
This will be Cassidy’s third head coaching job in the NHL having previously coached the Bruins and Washington Capitals.
He spent the past five-and-a-half seasons with the Bruins. In 399 regular season games the team had a 245-108-46 record and made the playoffs each season. In four of those postseasons the team won at least one round and reached the 2018-19 Stanley Cup Final where it lost to the St. Louis Blues in seven games.
This year’s Bruins team finished with 107 points and lost in the First Round in seven games to the Carolina Hurricanes.
For his head coaching career with the Capitals (two seasons) and Bruins (six seasons) Cassidy’s teams are 292-155-62 in 509 regular season games with a 38-41 record in 79 career playoff games.