You can add another name to the ‘wide net’ cast by Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, as the team has reportedly had two interviews with Penguins assistant coach Mike Vellucci for the team’s vacant head coaching gig, according to both Joe McDonald of the Worcester T+G and DailyFaceoff’s Frank Seravalli.
Seravalli even went as far to say that Vellucci, who has been with the Penguins for the last two seasons, is a finalist for the B’s job along with ex-Rangers coach David Quinn and Kraken assistant coach Jay Leach.
As usual, @JoeyMacHockey is all over it. Wanted to add: Believe this was Vellucci's second interview as part of the process.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 29, 2022
Sounds like the finalists for #NHLBruins are David Quinn, Jay Leach and Vellucci. Many believe Quinn is the front runner for the job. We'll see. https://t.co/0kIMUmACiR
As an assistant, Vellucci has mostly worked with Pittsburgh’s forwards and penalty kill, but is on the market and drawing interest thanks to an undeniably an extensive coaching resume.
Involved in coaching since 1994, the 55-year-old Vellucci’s longest stint came with his 13-season run as the head coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers from 2001 through 2014, which featured 12 trips to the postseason and a championship in 2007. Following his OHL run, Vellucci jumped back into coaching in 2017 as the head coach of the Charlotte Checkers (the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes), and won a Calder Cup with the club in his second season behind the Charlotte bench before moving to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as the head coach of the Baby Penguins for a season.
A Michigan native, Vellucci was a seventh-round draft pick of the Hartford Whalers in 1984, and appeared in two NHL games in his playing career. In other words, he’s a candidate with almost no connections to the area or Bruins organization.
Speaking with a source Wednesday, the belief is that Quinn is indeed the frontrunner for the job, as noted by others. It’s also believed that an announcement could come as soon as this week with the Bruins clearly whittling down their list.
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.