The Bruins and head coach Bruce Cassidy have started talking about a contract extension to keep Cassidy behind the Boston bench beyond the 2019-20 season, according to The Athletic’s Joe McDonald.
Promoted as the in-season replacement for Claude Julien in Feb. 2017, Cassidy has been among the league’s best coaches since the jump, with a 117-52-22 record with the Black and Gold. It’s good for the second-best record in hockey over that stretch, trailing only Jon Cooper’s 134-45-13 record with the Lightning over that span.
The Bruins have improved their postseason run in all three postseason runs under Cassidy, advancing to the second round in 2018 after falling in the first round in 2017, and leading the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final this past spring.
Cassidy was also a finalist for the 2018 Jack Adams Award, awarded annually to the league’s top coach.
Those results haven’t been lost on the B’s front office.
“He’s done a very good job for us, obviously,” Bruins president Cam Neely said at the team’s year-end media availability. “Coming in when he did and getting us to the playoffs and then almost having two back- to-back 50-win seasons is pretty impressive. [Cassidy has] learned from our playoff losses and how to coach a little bit differently in the playoffs.
“It’s kind of a tale of two seasons, to get into the playoffs, and then once you’re in the playoffs, how do you adjust for a seven-game series. I think Butch has done a really good job in managing [the] regular season and learning from playoff hockey.”
The 54-year-old Cassidy, whose only other NHL head coaching gig was with the Capitals in 2002 to 2003 (107 games in total), has been with the Bruins organization since 2008.