Bruins create more questions than answers in firing Cassidy


From the second Boston Bruins president and Corridor of Famer Cam Neely blundered his manner by means of his end-of-season media availability, it appeared as if head coach Bruce Cassidy was on super-secret probation.

As the times handed for the reason that Bruins had been eradicated in Sport 7 of the primary spherical in Carolina on Might 14, it appeared as if possibly we’d misinterpreted Neely’s awkward response to Cassidy’s job safety, which went alongside the traces of – and we’re paraphrasing right here –  “Yeah, properly, undecided in regards to the coach, good man however gee, properly, would possibly want some adjustments so we’ll get again to you on that.”

Certainly you wouldn’t wait a number of weeks after being eradicated to fireplace your coach if that was what you had been planning on doing all alongside. Would you?

What sense would there be in that?

Why let the half a dozen different groups in search of a head coach get forward of you in interviewing high candidates until you’re not thinking about a high teaching candidate, in fact? And, once more, what would the sense of that be?

And you probably have any humanity, why let Cassidy twist within the wind for greater than three weeks whilst you fiddle, Nero-like, deciding what you’re going to do, if you happen to knew this was the trail you had been going to observe all alongside?

Properly, all of this occurs while you don’t have any humanity or, worse, if you happen to don’t have a plan or a clue or each.

And that, of us, is outwardly the place the Bruins are at, having dispatched a coach who led them to the playoffs in every of the six seasons he was behind the Boston bench, together with a visit to Sport 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Closing.

Hey, you don’t just like the vibe? It’s your staff. Go for it. It’s what guys like GM Don Sweeney and staff president Neely receives a commission the large bucks for, to make these generally arduous calls.

And it’s clear there have been points with Cassidy over time because it pertains to the evolution of younger gamers and particular groups. That, too, is inevitable on the subject of teaching within the NHL, and generally it’s time for a change.

The New York Islanders inexplicably fired two-time Jack Adams Award winner Barry Trotz, and whereas we expect Islander GM Lou Lamoriello is making a hash of issues with the Islanders, a minimum of he was direct about his plans and rapidly put in Lane Lambert as his man.

Will the Bruins transfer as swiftly? If the dallying over what to do with Cassidy is any indication, this can be a staff that received’t be dashing into something, which can or might not turn into problematic.                                         

Actually, if you happen to’re one of many high coaches on {the marketplace}, arduous to think about the Bruins could be wherever close to the highest of the checklist by way of the openings on condition that severe accidents are seemingly going to maintain Brad Marchand and high defenseman Charlie McAvoy out of the lineup till properly into subsequent season and with Mike Reilly and Matt Grzelcyk additionally present process offseason surgical procedures which will delay the beginning of their 2022-23 seasons. After which there’s uncertainty surrounding future Corridor of Famer Patrice Bergeron, who was simply named Frank J. Selke Trophy winner however underwent elbow surgical procedure and hasn’t made public his choice on returning to the Bruins as he’s a pending unrestricted free agent.

Does the bewildering dealing with of the teaching choice influence Bergeron’s choice?

Properly, you must hope if you happen to’re a Bruins fan that a minimum of a few of the lengthy lag in time between “Um, in regards to the coach, we’re not likely positive” and the precise firing was spent in canvassing the staff’s management group. If not, properly, that’s a reasonably vital dereliction of responsibility. And if there’s a extra honorable particular person within the sport than Bergeron, we don’t know him, so right here’s hoping he wasn’t caught unaware of this choice.

In his media briefing early Tuesday morning following the Cassidy firing, Sweeney talked in regards to the message and the voice. These are different phrases for identification.

When choice makers are unclear in regards to the path they’re following, once they can’t get their act collectively in easy issues like, let’s not exit in entrance of the general public and half-bury our coach with faint reward after which wait three weeks to fireplace him, that’s identification, too.

Or a scarcity thereof.

Possibly the extra essential query is whether or not this staff has been inbuilt a way that permits it to have an identification shifting ahead. What’s the transition plan from the core that introduced house a Stanley Cup in ’11 and went to a last two years later and once more six years after that?

Zdeno Chara is gone. So, too, is Tuukka Rask. David Krejci left and the void his departure created was by no means stuffed, though there are whispers a reunion might be within the offing. Bergeron and Marchand, each future Corridor of Famers, have given all you could possibly ask for, however the end line for each is clearly in sight, particularly given the well being points each confront.

Is there a transition plan for this franchise past dithering over whether or not to fireplace Cassidy?

The truth is that this roster isn’t constructed to make a lot of a dent even with Bergeron and Marchand wholesome. It was the truth of the seven-game first-round sequence loss to Carolina. Except Bergeron or Marchand had been doing it, it didn’t get carried out for the Bruins.

One of many staff’s finest forwards, Jake DeBrusk, has been sad for a few seasons now. Does the teaching change alter that dynamic?

Taylor Corridor is at finest a complementary participant and at worst a job participant making $6 million 2024-25. His modified no-trade clause will make it tough to maneuver on from him because the seemingly inevitable descent into playoff bubble life or worse takes place beginning as early as subsequent season.

The Nick Foligno experiment has, honest to say, been an error in administration judgment.

Hampus Lindholm had higher be who the Bruins hope he’s after buying him on the deadline after which extending him with an eight-year, $52 million deal. With the accidents to the blue line that can bleed into subsequent season, Lindholm should rapidly evolve right into a top-pairing man, or issues are going to get ugly actually rapidly and never simply within the brief time period subsequent fall.

There’s a prepare of thought that the Bruins want to cut back for a season with all of the accidents and possibly get fortunate within the Connor Bedard draft sweepstakes in 2023. Um, that’s not a plan; that’s wishful pondering. That’s one thing followers do — it’s not one thing a staff willingly enters into. So we dismiss that notion out of hand, or largely out of hand.

Sweeney talked about a number of occasions the harm points that confronted this staff and can proceed to form the staff’s make-up and on-ice success. Often when that occurs, you don’t fireplace your coach, however the Bruins have gone down that highway and, actually, it appears unclear what sort of staff this Bruins staff shall be shifting ahead.

In idea that is the place we are saying the GM is beneath the gun, having made the choice to maneuver on from a confirmed, profitable NHL head coach. And we’re guessing that – of the groups seeking to fill vacancies, Detroit, Vegas, Philadelphia, Winnipeg and Dallas, probably Chicago and who is aware of about Edmonton and Florida, each of which have interim coaches proper now – Cassidy will slot in someplace behind Barry Trotz and alongside Rick Tocchet and John Tortorella and Pete DeBoer as a viable and enticing candidate.

As for the staff Cassidy leaves behind, the dynamic is Boston is somewhat completely different, and over time president and staff icon Neely has change into a central determine within the franchise’s energy dynamic.

There are lots of who imagine that if Neely had had his manner he would have fired Claude Julien within the months main as much as the staff’s first Stanley Cup since 1972 again within the 2010-11 season.

Neely’s anti-endorsement of Cassidy following the tip of this season coupled with a promise to increase Sweeney’s expiring contract was at finest awkward and at worst embarrassing. Whoever steps behind the Boston bench should ensure they’re marching to not simply the GM’s drum beat, however the specific drum beat envisioned by Neely. That a lot is abundantly clear.

So if the clock is definitely ticking on Sweeney to seek out not simply an enough substitute for Cassidy however construct a staff that can play the best way he and Neely need them to play, the clock should definitely be ticking on Neely as properly, as a result of his fingerprints are throughout this messy alternate.

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