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Dec 23, 2018; Raleigh, NC, USA; Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy reacts from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Boston Bruins 5-3. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has been named the winner of the 2020 Jack Adams Award, given annually to the coach who has contributed the most to his team’s success, as voted on by the National Hockey League Broadcasters Association.

A finalist for the award along with the Blue Jackets’ John Tortorella and Philadelphia’s Alain Vigneault, Cassidy’s Adams win is the first of his career after he finished second in 2018’s voting. Cassidy (understandably) came in short in 2018 behind then-Vegas coach Gerard Gallant, who led the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season, his first time around.

“I think when it comes to personal stuff, I look inward to my family first,” Cassidy said Wednesday. “It’s been a long road. Some ups and downs. Starting basically at the bottom back in Providence and working your way up, so I’m thankful, grateful to them.

“Thankful for the opportunity. It started with Pete [Chiarelli] in Providence and Donnie [Sweeney] was our assistant general manager and I got to work with two really good people. I was fortunate enough to get the chance in Boston.”

Dec 23, 2018; Raleigh, NC: Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy looks on from the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Boston Bruins 5-3. (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy looks on from the bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

And to say Cassidy has excelled when finally given that chance in Boston, which came following Claude Julien’s firing in Feb. 2017, would be an understatement.

In his three full seasons as head coach of the Bruins from 2017-20, Cassidy has helped the team rank in the Top 10 in nearly every major statistical category: Their 143 wins and 319 points are the second-most in hockey, the Black and Gold’s 24.9 power play percentage is the second-best and their 82.6 penalty kill percentage is the third-best. The Bruins have also surrendered a league-low 2.52 goals per game while scoring 3.21 goals per game (the sixth-most in hockey).

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Cassidy has done this while also integrating several fresh faces into the mix, and experience ‘doubling’ jumps throughout his coaching run before this year’s second-round exit, going from the first round to the second round from 2017 to 2018, and from the second round to the Stanley Cup Final from 2018 to 2019.

“This is a team award,” said Cassidy. “It’s everyone contributing. I get my name on the trophy — which is great, I’m honored to have it — but I mean up and down the organization, I think everyone should be acknowledged when the coach wins.”

Cassidy’s victory makes him the fourth Bruins head coach to win the award since its inception in 1974, joining Don Cherry (1976), Pat Burns (1998), and his predecessor Claude Julien (2009).

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.