Don Sweeney, finally with a contract extension to his name, always said that he was going to cast a ‘wide net’ for the B’s head coaching vacancy. And while the Bruins seem to have their favorites, there’s a chance that another two names will be added to the mix following last Sunday’s conclusion of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Lightning are almost certain to lose at least one of their assistant coaches, with Derek Lalonde and Jeff Halpern both expected to draw interest, and with Boston among the teams that could reach out.
“Boston, I think they’re beginning their second round of interviews this week. I don’t know if they’re going to talk to any of these guys [from Tampa], but it wouldn’t surprise me,” said Friedman.
So, not exactly a ‘they’re absolutely in the mix’ from Friedman, but if the net is wide, the net is wide.
Halpern, who had a 976-game NHL career between seven different teams from 1999 through 2014, has been an assistant on Jon Cooper’s staff since the 2018 season, and has worked primarily as the team’s power-play coach. Prior to jumping to the Bolts’ NHL staff, Halpern served as an assistant coach for the Syracuse Crunch for two seasons.
Lalonde, meanwhile, has an extensive coaching history, with coaching experience in the NCAA, USHL, ECHL, AHL, and NHL since 2003-04. Like Halpern, Lalonde has been part of Tampa Bay’s coaching staff since 2018, and runs their penalty kill.
Poaching talent from one of your top rivals is nothing new in sports, and it’s an avenue the Bruins have already explored in this process, with Toronto assistant coach Spencer Carbery among those on the B’s initial interview list.
The Bruins also interviewed another coach with 2022 Stanley Cup ties over the weekend, with Arlington, Mass. native Greg Cronin brought in for an interview, according to Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy. Cronin, a former Northeastern coach, has served as the head coach of the Avalanche’s AHL affiliate Colorado Eagles since 2018.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has been covering the Bruins since 2010, and has been a member of the Boston chapter of the PHWA since 2013. 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.