New Vegas Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy is confident and eager to do something with the Golden Knights that he and the Boston Bruins couldn’t accomplish during his time in Boston:
“Winning in the postseason. I think when you get close to winning the Cup it’s always in the back of your mind and you want to get the job done and definitely have that mentality,” Cassidy said during his first meeting with the Las Vegas media on Thursday. “I thought I did well in Boston – and here I am. I want my name on the Stanley Cup… and I believe this team has the ability to do that.”
After spending most of the past six seasons behind the Boston Bruins bench, Bruce Cassidy was fired by the Bruins on June 6 with Bruins general manager Don Sweeney citing the need for a “new voice” from the Bruins. team quoted. Well, their former voice behind their couch and in their dressing room didn’t have to wait long for another coaching gig. Last Tuesday the Vegas Golden Knights hired Cassidy as the third head coach in the fledgling but highly successful NHL franchise to make it to the Stanley Cup in their inaugural season of 2017-18.
According to a friend of Boston Hockey Now, Shawn Simpson of TSN Radio, the Golden Knights gave Cassidy a five-year contract that pays him $4.5 million a year. Simpson added that the state of Nevada has no income tax.
Seabass did Bruce Cassidy a big favor by firing him. He entered the final year of his contract in Boston and is now signing a 5 year 4.5 million per deal in the tax-exempt state of Vegas.
— Shawn Simpson (@TSNSimmer) June 17, 2022
While Cassidy said he was thrilled to have hit the jackpot with his new contract and the hockey situation he’s in, he still had to make sure it made sense for his family. He did, and now he must help his son Cole transition into the Vegas sports scene.
“I knew that, in terms of hockey, it was a no-brainer for me,” said Bruce Cassidy. ‘It would be, how does it affect your family? And everyone is on board. I’m from Canada, she’s from New Jersey, how would that affect the kids? “I have to convince Cole to get on board with the Black and Silver (Raiders) and not the Pats. That’ll be a challenge because hey, he’s a New England guy, right? I’ll tell him he can have the Red Sox, but you’ve got to give up the Pats.”
As they have always been under Cassidy’s watch, the Bruins formed a top-five defense in terms of goals allowed last season. They also had the league’s third-best power play (23.9%) and penalty kill (82.9%) overseen by Cassidy.
“I think in general I did a good job with certain parts of the game that are important in the National Hockey League,” Cassidy said of his coaching resume. “That’s the kind of playstyle I think I can bring and I’ve tried to get our teams playing. It seems that this group of players wants to play that way and excel in that style.”
That style is one of the main reasons Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon hired Bruce Cassidy. The Golden Knights’ 18.4% power-play conversion rate ranked 25th in the league last season, and after the 2 1/2-year tenure of former coach Pete DeBoer, they were ranked 21st in power play (18 .6%).
“I know it’s been challenging here at various times in the past,” McCrimmon said. “Bruce has done it time and time again. I think that’s what’s impressive to me. There are different teams and different coaches who, with the right staff and the right year, have a very good power play or a very good penalty kill. Or maybe one is significantly better than the other. In Bruce’s case, the penalty kill and the power play have always been very, very good for a long period of time.”
While Cassidy is admittedly defense first, he does preach a rush attack. Back in Boston, Cassidy wasn’t always blessed with the assault weapons that could finish that attack, but he’s excited to have that with his new team.
What I see in Vegas is a lot of guys who can finish it, Cassidy said. Guys who have been through playoff series and know what it takes to get there. I’ve seen ‘Petro’ [Alex Pietranglo] win a Stanley Cup. I saw ‘Petro’ a little too close, to be honest.
That 2019 Stanley Cup loss to Pietrangelo and the St. Louis Blues and his being scapegoated by the Bruins clearly has Bruce Cassidy ready to earn some redemption and prove his former bosses wrong.
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