The Bruins announced on Tuesday, May 24 that Bruce Cassidy and Jay Pandolfo will join head coach Claude Julien’s staff as assistants, alongside returning Joe Sacco and Bob Essensa. Assistant Doug Jarvis, who has been with the team since 2010, will not be retained.
Bruce Cassidy and Jay Pandolfo will join Joe Sacco and Bob Essensa on Head Coach Claude Julien’s coaching staff for the 2016-17 season.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 24, 2016
The Bruins’ plan to integrate more youth to the lineups has been a key idea for the team’s future, and Cassidy and Pandolfo directly assist that goal. Both appointees are intimately familiar with the players coming up through the pipeline. Cassidy recently completed his fifth season as head coach of the Providence Bruins in 2015-16, having spent the three previous seasons (2008-11) with the club as an assistant. He compiled a 207-128-45 overall record in 380 games while leading the team, including winning seasons in all five years and postseason stints in each of his final four seasons in Providence. Most recently, Cassidy helped lead the Providence to a 41-22-13 record.
Many Bruins players have played under Cassidy during his tenure as Providence head coach, including: Noel Acciari, Tommy Cross, Brian Ferlin, Seth Griffith, Alexander Khokhlachev, Torey Krug, Colin Miller, Kevan Miller, Joe Morrow, David Pastrnak, Tyler Randell, Ryan Spooner, Malcolm Subban, Zach Trotman and Frank Vatrano.
Pandolfo, meanwhile, aided in the development of the Bruin’s drafted prospects throughout the system at the AHL, junior hockey and college levels.
Bruce Cassidy: “I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s time. It’s been eight years in Providence.’
— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) May 24, 2016
According to Matt Kalman for CBS Boston, “A couple different voices with new ideas and an ability to thicken the players’ skin should benefit the Bruins in their pursuit of a return to respectability” after two years of failing to make the postseason, marking the first consecutive postseason misses since the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. Though it is obviously up to GM Don Sweeney to provide the newly appointed assistants with better talent to work with, doubling down on the team’s management could bolster the new and veteran players with more confidence and experienced guidance en route to fulfilling that goal.