Morning Free Association: Feb. 21 Who is Bruce Cassidy?

Bruce Cassidy

5’11”, 176 lbs
Interim Head Coach, Boston Bruins

Cassidy is expected to be a candidate for the permanent head coach job, and this season is viewed as an audition.
However (according to Bruins President Cam Neely), GM Don Sweeney intends to approach several candidates for that job and decide on one over the summer.

But who is Bruce Cassidy? Who is our team’s new coach?
Well first off, call him “Butch”, not “Sundance”, not “David”, and definitely not “hop-a-long”.

Cassidy grew up in Ontario, and thus was required to play hockey or risk being shunned to the maple syrup mines.
Not everyone is cut out for a life in the mines
He played defense for the cleverly named Ottawa 67’s in juniors, and was drafted 18th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks. And in a time-honored hockey tradition, recurring knee problems had limited his career. He played 36 games for the Blackhawks as a defenseman between 1983 and 1990, spending most of his time playing in the minors in AHL and IHL affiliate teams. After that he spent three seasons in Europe, up until 1994 at which point he returned to the IHL’s Indianapolis Ice.

As most Bruins fans are aware, he was recently the coach of the Bruins AHL affiliate team, the Providence Bruins. He was hired as an assistant in 2008, and later replaced previous head coach Rob Murray in 2011. As P-Bruins coach, he led them to a record 207-128-45 over 5 years, with 4 playoff appearances (and 4 early playoff exits). This includes having the best record in the AHL in his sophomore season as the P-Bruins bench boss. Of course, that was not his first job coaching professional hockey.

On retirement as a player, Cassidy had several positions coaching in the minors, for teams in the ECHL and the IHL, where he had some success.

But, what is most interesting to Bruins fans is his previous experience coaching in the NHL. As many Bruins fans have recently become aware or may remember, Cassidy was the head coach of the Washington Capitals for the 2002/03 season, and the first 28 games of 2003/04. He was hired by the Caps’s GM George McPhee (now the GM of the Las Vegas Golden Knights) from the Ottawa Senators‘ (then) AHL farm club, the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he was the AHL’s Coach of the Year.
In his first year as head coach, the Caps were 2nd in their division with a respectable 39-29-8-6 record. They would eventually lose in the playoffs 2-4 to the Tampa Bay Lightning (being knocked out in a triple-overtime game 6). This is where the fun ends (or begins?).

The next season, he led the Caps to a last-place record of 8-18-1 before losing his job. Along the way, he failed to use Jaromir Jagr effectively, and got into a public pissing match with his roster, that required a public apology.
Cassidy had had a ‘falling out’ with Calle Johansson during the playoffs, resulting in the defenseman’s benching for most of game 6, got into a ‘screaming match’ with an underperforming Jagr, a near-violent argument with D-man Brendan Witt, and then a post-game rant in which he accused his players of using their “pregnant wives and sick children” as an excuse for poor performance, stepping over ‘the line’ by bringing in the players’ family members and private lives.
Cassidy mixed up the forward lines, which led to recurring disagreements between the coach and his veterans, including Jagr or Lang. “It is hard for the forwards to have new linemates all the time,” Lang said. “It’s just one of those things where we like to get used to each other.
In December of that year, Cassidy cursed out rookie Sebastien Charpentier in front of the team. He apologized at the next practice, but as far as the team was concerned, the damage was done.
Accusations of favoritism had also happened in Washington.
No hard feelings, though…


Errr….. yeah….

“Butch” would be hired for the next season (2004/05) by the Blackhawks as an assistant coach, but sat around twiddling his thumbs as that was a lockout year. In 2005/06, the `hawks went 26-43-13 and Cassidy’s contract was not renewed.
Fortunately for him, he was willing to return to the AHL and one of his contacts from his Senators/Griffins days – GM Peter Chiarelli – would now hire him in Boston/Providence.

This was all a dozen years ago. Which one of us the the same person that they were in 2003? Surely he has learned from this experience and grown.
Right?
I hope?
Mark Divver of Projo painted a positive view of that a few years ago. And those Boston Bruins who came up from the Providence club do not appear to have a problem with him. So there is reason for hope.

Right now, things are going well. The Bruins are 4-0 under his leadership. However, things are new, and the team has yet to truly find their level. Will the Bruins be able to find their way into the playoffs? They’re on the bubble and events could easily swing either way. Eventually, their fortunes are bound to go through a bad spell. Will he handle things with more professionalism this time around? Let’s hope so.

About IntentionallyWidenberg

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the german hammer
Admin

It’s taken a long-ass time to produce this but it’s finally here.

This features a couple of your favourite B2Bers (Phony, Medievalist) and someone you just tolerate (me). It’s a good time. Also, plenty of swearing.

Dr. Medievalist
Member
Dr. Medievalist

Yaaaaaaay! Everyone should listen!

The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
Member

The sample size is small, but Cassidy might be an improvement over the current Julien. My dad, a longtime Julien supporter, actually thought it was the right move. He pointed to how low, but existing turnover, is actually good for most companies, and the same might be true for sports.

The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
Member

Not like you guys care, but I am buying new runners and new laces for my skates. The new runners are Step Steel’s V-Runners. The new laces are black and waxed. I just buy new laces once a year. My old ones still work, but the wax has worn off.

the german hammer
Admin

I need to change my Twitter handle. Any suggestions?

Thetallest81
Member
Thetallest81

Switch to a handle of rum?

the german hammer
Admin

My teenage years, in which I totally never drank illegally, ruined rum for me.

UnstableElement
Member
UnstableElement

Rum is still OK.

Unless it’s Sailor Jerry. The sailor and I haven’t spoken in years, and I intend to keep it that way.

Dr. Medievalist
Member
Dr. Medievalist

The exceptions are Malibu and Parrot Bay for me. No more coconut rum ever, please.

the german hammer
Admin

No more coconut rum ever, please.

I stand by you. Never again.

the german hammer
Admin

I learn so many new things through this community of people. I have never heard of Sailor Jerry.

UnstableElement
Member
UnstableElement

It’s basically Captain Morgan’s with a (very) slightly higher alcohol content and is apparently out to get me.

Dr. Medievalist
Member
Dr. Medievalist

Same, but tequila.

the german hammer
Admin

That is rough being in Texas now, huh?

Dr. Medievalist
Member
Dr. Medievalist

Especially so close to the border.

But, to be honest, I’ve really come off hard liquor in general. I’m much more about beer, and increasingly, about wine these days.

the german hammer
Admin

I like my cocktails, they make me feel fancy.

I love beer (although the Unnamable Black Lager did unnamable things to me) but I feel like wine is overrated. I can only drink whites and so few whites are interesting.

UnstableElement
Member
UnstableElement

Maybe it’s the Italian blood in me, but I’ve been a fan of red wine more or less since I turned 21.

Whites…not so much.

Dr. Medievalist
Member
Dr. Medievalist

I’ve developed a taste for red wine only recently. It coincides with my love for black as fuck coffee.

I do like some cocktails. Moscow Mules are a recent favorite of mine. But straight hard alcohol still makes me wince. I know I’m weak.

the german hammer
Admin

You’re not weak.

carvinbass18
Editor

Agreed. There’s no such thing as a “girly drink” too. Alcohol is alcohol & it should be celebrated by drinking lots of it (responsibly)

The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
Member

I love this take.

Dr. Medievalist
Member
Dr. Medievalist

Good morning, friends. How’s everyone doing today?

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

I was fine until I read comments on Twitter. I should know better.

And then I came to work and it’s a PUT OUT ALL THE FIRES kind of day.

Dr. Medievalist
Member
Dr. Medievalist

I hate “PUT OUT ALL OF THE FIRES” day. Ooof.

And Twitter comments are usually bad – you should definitely know better.

MadScientist72
Member
MadScientist72

And Twitter comments are usually bad will be the downfall of civilization

FTFY

UnstableElement
Member
UnstableElement

I hate “PUT OUT ALL OF THE FIRES” day.

That’s today. And yesterday. And all of last week. And last month. And probably next month….

MadScientist72
Member
MadScientist72
Satan 81's Sister
Editor

It’s just so much fun. I really just want to go home, go back to bed, and try again tomorrow.

the german hammer
Admin

Well, at least you want to try again tomorrow. That’s something.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

I figure it should all just fix itself overnight.

the german hammer
Admin

I had a tweet liked and retweeted by Alan Page’s wife! So my Twitter morning is pretty neat. Otherwise, I mostly ignore Twitter.

Dr. Medievalist
Member
Dr. Medievalist

I think I read Twitter more that I ever have before for two weeks after Inauguration Day. I’ve since stopped.

Also – I’ve been meaning to say that I liked Episode 1 of our podcast. I thought it turned out pretty well.

the german hammer
Admin

Re: podcast, it will take a few to get it down. This one is unlike the other one, so it’s easier to edit and harder at the same time. I need to post a picture and then we shall promote in earnest.Also, I need to do some research and make a difficult decision regarding a recorder; current recording software is not cutting it for me. I just forgot, you’re not Nick so I’ll stop right there.

carvinbass18
Editor

ignoring hockey twitter, twitter right now has been kinda like Christmas with the F1 car releases this week.

The London Bear
Member

Hullo!

Good stuff there, IW. I’m happy to give him a chance – people CAN change. Plus, Bs have won four in a row for the first time since… Well it hasn’t happened this year.

Shortly after I last posted on here, on Friday, my niece dropped my phone on the floor. D’oh! more expense…

Later in the day we were treated to a fantastic hockey game – first v second in the Slovak league, seats right against the glass. Amazing atmosphere – they play music during stoppages of play, of course, but most of the time you couldn’t hear that above the crowd! And an OT win for the home team, which, being Europe is worth a point fewer than a regulation-time win (I’m a fan of this format), but enough to keep them on top of the table. Great game. If I wasn’t already hooked on hockey I certainly would be after that.

Disappointed to find that Jim Beam has replaced Four Roses as the sole bourbon available in SVK. Not massively disappointed, as I like JB, but was looking forward to try 4R…

Back in England, now, and back in work today, but I have tomorrow off! So I’ll go and see about getting that phone repaired.

UnstableElement
Member
UnstableElement

Good Morning!

-On NPR this morning, they said it was Monday. Um, pretty sure I already went through that?
-We (supposedly) pick up a car today, so that should be fun.
-While we shouldn’t necessarily ignore some of his previous (alleged) actions, I’m more than willing to see how the Cassidy experiment goes. Now that Claude’s gone and the Bruins were middling anyways, we don’t have much to lose.

Which one of us the the same person that they were in 2003?

Seeing as I was in 8th/9th grade in that year, I hope to God I’m not the same person now.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

Which one of us the the same person that they were in 2003?

I was still a heartbroken Red Sox fan thinking I’d never see them win the World Series. I’m a much different type of sports fan now! smile

UnstableElement
Member
UnstableElement

Ooph, but that series was still rough.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

Also crazy:

Last Red Sox team sans Big Papi had Carlos Baerga, John Burkett & Rickey Henderson.

— Batting Stance Guy (@BattingStanceG) February 16, 2017

Dr. Medievalist
Member
Dr. Medievalist

Which one of us the the same person that they were in 2003?

I don’t know that me in 2003 would recognize his future self. Also, future self would kick past me’s ass up one side and down the other.

carvinbass18
Editor

Seeing as I was in 8th/9th grade in that year, I hope to God I’m not the same person now.

oh god…. yeah no thanks on being that dork again. I’m glad I’m the dork I am now

Dr. Medievalist
Member
Dr. Medievalist

Hahaha – 8th/9th grade I was trying to figure out if I was a nerd or a jock. I clearly figured that one out.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Good Morning, pals!!!
As for Cassidy, everyone makes mistakes. That’s how you learn. The only people who don’t make mistakes are the ones that don’t do anything. Just don’t keep making the same mistakes. One must learn from their mistakes. That’ood luck, Butch, err David, eh Bruce, yeah – they cal me Bruce!
Still pumped from my weekend on the water. It’s so warm! I want to be back out there!!!
Coffee will have to do!!! (Although nothing wakes you up like rolling your kayak in 35 degree water!!!!)

MadScientist72
Member
MadScientist72

Don’t bring me down, Bruce!

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