Boston Bruins

MONTREAL, QC - NOVEMBER 05: A detail of the Boston Bruins logo is seen during the second period against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on November 5, 2019 in Montreal, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins 5-4. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins have officially built out new head coach Jim Montgomery’s staff for the upcoming season, as the team has confirmed the hiring of John Gruden as an assistant coach.

Gruden will come to the Bruins after spending the last four seasons as an assistant coach with the New York Islanders. With the Islanders, Gruden helped run New York’s defense, which is what he’ll focus on for the B’s upon this move to Boston.

Prior to his time on Long Island, the 52-year-old Gruden spent two seasons behind the bench as the head coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs. In Hamilton, Gruden led the Bulldogs to a 43-18-7 record in 2017-18, capturing the J. Ross Robertson Cup as champions of the OHL.

Prior to his OHL tenure, Gruden served as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2011-15, helping lead Team USA to gold medals in 2012 and 2014.

The move to the Bruins also represents a homecoming of sorts for Gruden, as Gruden was an eighth-round pick of the B’s back in 1990, and spent 59 of his 92 career NHL games in a Boston sweater.

Gruden will join a staff that includes Chris Kelly, Joe Sacco, and Bob Essensa as assistant coaches.

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 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.