ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Bruins spent the bulk of Saturday selecting players they hope to develop into contributors at the NHL level in the coming years.
But prior to making those selections, the club announced who one of the key people in that development will be, introducing Bruce Cassidy as the new head coach of the Bruins' American Hockey League affiliate in Providence.
"I think the lifeline for all of these organizations out here today, you really build around the draft, and when those players come in, the vast, vast majority of those players run through our development team in Providence," Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney said. "And the person in charge of that, we've been fortunate, we've had people there and Bruce has been a big part of it for the last couple of years. His track record speaks for itself as to where he's been, the players he's developed over the course of his coaching career."
Cassidy, 46, has been an assistant in Providence the past three seasons under head coach Rob Murray. Murray was not retained for next season earlier this spring, although he has been offered a chance to stay in the organization in another capacity.
Cassidy has extensive head coaching experience as well, including a stint in the NHL with the Washington Capitals. He has served as a head coach for Indianapolis (IHL), Trenton (ECHL), Grand Rapids (IHL) and Kingston (OHL), with an overall head coaching record of 295-253-36-37 in 621 games. He also worked as an assistant with the Norfolk Admirals (AHL) in 2004-05 and the Chicago Blackhawks in 2005-06 before coming to the Bruins organization.
"I think Bruce brings a wealth of experience at both the National Hockey League level and the American Hockey League level," Sweeney said. "He brings insight. I think that he's traveled a different course to get back to where he is right now, and I think that he's hungry for the opportunity again and he's done a really good job of developing players at all different levels, to tell you the truth. He's worked with the forwards and the defense and, you know, in the last couple of years we've seen a nice impact that he's had with our younger players and we feel excited about going forward with him."
Sweeney stated that no decisions had been made yet on hiring assistant coaches for Providence.