Boston Bruins

  • The Boston Bruins’ search for their next head coach has started to ramp up.

    According to Joe McDonald, five initial contenders are expected to interview for the team’s open head coaching position. Four of the five coaches appeared on Ty Anderson’s list of the Bruins’ most likely head coach candidates.

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  • In addition, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman mentioned a sixth possible candidate in his latest “32 Thoughts” podcast, while corroborating two of the names mentioned in McDonald’s report. Here’s a quick rundown of the names to know as the Bruins’ head coach search kicks into a higher gear…

    Jim Montgomery

    DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 23: Head coach Jim Montgomery of the Dallas Stars in the third period at American Airlines Center on October 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    DALLAS, TX – OCTOBER 23: Head coach Jim Montgomery of the Dallas Stars in the third period at American Airlines Center on October 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Montgomery is a new one. He most recently served as an assistant for the St. Louis Blues. He coached the Dallas Stars from 2018-20, and was dismissed during the 2019-20 season as the team cited “unprofessional conduct.”

    But if those past issues are really behind him, Montgomery seems to be ready to reclaim a head coaching post. What makes him interesting for the Bruins is that he has virtually no ties to the organization or New England, other than he played college hockey at the University of Maine.

    Perhaps the team wants to take that kind of direction. If you’re truly looking for a “new voice,” you’d do well with someone who doesn’t sound like they just staggered out of the Lincoln Tavern. But someone with little-to-no Boston ties would feel refreshing. Are Cam Neely and Don Sweeney willing to do that?

  • Joe Sacco

    Dec 11, 2021; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Boston Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco on his bench against the Calgary Flames during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

    Dec 11, 2021; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Boston Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco on his bench against the Calgary Flames during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

    Sacco represents the simplest option: just promote an assistant internally. If they’re happy enough with Sacco’s work as an assistant, and they don’t want to overhaul their system, he would make sense to helm the operation.

    They can’t be particularly happy with Sacco’s work running the Bruins’ power play units, which ranked 15th in the league at 21.2 percent. But perhaps they feel they’d be in good hands with him at the top and someone else handling special teams.

  • Jay Leach

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 17: Assistant coach Jay Leach and head coach Dave Hakstol of the Seattle Kraken look on against the Chicago Blackhawks during the third period at Climate Pledge Arena on November 17, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – NOVEMBER 17: Assistant coach Jay Leach and head coach Dave Hakstol of the Seattle Kraken look on against the Chicago Blackhawks during the third period at Climate Pledge Arena on November 17, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    Leach would be a familiar face in the Bruins’ coaching pipeline. Currently an assistant coach for the Seattle Kraken, Leach previously served in the Bruins organization down in Providence, where he was elevated to head coach in the season after Cassidy was promoted to head coach in Boston.

    So, like Sacco, Leach would bring some familiarity and make logical sense as Cassidy’s successor, considering where he coached before. But if Sweeney or Neely want the Bruins to be coached a lot differently than they were under Cassidy, it’s not terribly likely they’d get that out of Leach, who was essentially trained and groomed as a Bruin.

  • David Quinn

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 02: David Quinn of the New York Rangers speaks with the media prior to the game against the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden on December 02, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 02: David Quinn of the New York Rangers speaks with the media prior to the game against the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden on December 02, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Quinn hasn’t coached in the Bruins organization before, but he’s coached a couple Bruins players – during his time as the head coach at Boston University. That’s where defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk called him “coach,” once upon a time.

    Most recently, Quinn became the head coach of the U.S. men’s national team, so he’s preoccupied with that. But his reported interview coming up with the Bruins would suggest that he’s itching to get back to the pros, after spending three seasons behind the New York Rangers’ bench.

  • Spencer Carbery

    Mar 15, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe watches the play during the third period against the Dallas Stars at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 15, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe watches the play during the third period against the Dallas Stars at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

    Carbery has most recently served as an assistant coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs, so Boston fans would have to hope the curse didn’t rub off on him. But Carbery is another one with experience in the Bruins organization, having previously coached under Leach for the Providence Bruins in 2017-18.

    This is a guy who continues to pop up in head coach news and rumors, so it feels like only a matter of time before he becomes a new addition to the league’s modern coaching carousel.

  • Nate Leaman

    BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: The Providence Friars celebrate after the 2015 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championships at TD Garden on April 11, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.The Friars defeated the Terriers 4-3. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MA – APRIL 11: The Providence Friars celebrate after the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Championships at TD Garden on April 11, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.The Friars defeated the Terriers 4-3. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Leaman was the one name whom McDonald did not mention in his report Wednesday morning. But he was mentioned by Friedman, who acknowledged on “32 Thoughts” that he recently signed a lucrative contract to remain the head coach at Providence College.

    But Friedman isn’t ruling out a possible return to the NHL as the Bruins’ head coach, because the team had previously eyed him to coach the Providence Bruins before he opted to go the college route.

    “He was a guy Boston wanted at the time,” Friedman said. “I had a few people say they wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the mix [to be the head coach] there.”

    It didn’t take long for Cassidy to find his next job. It seems like the Bruins’ search will take a little longer. But we’ll be sure to keep you updated every step of the way here at 985TheSportsHub.com, as well as everything else in the Bruins’ offseason.

  • Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.