** Update: The team has now confirmed the reports and Bruce Cassidy has officially been hired.
As per a number of inside NHL sources, including ESPN hockey analyst Kevin Weekes, the Vegas Golden Knights are hiring Bruce Cassidy as their new head coach. The news falls on Tuesday and about one week after Cassidy was released by the Boston Bruins.
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) June 14, 2022
Cassidy was surprisingly let go by the Bruins after being told his job was safe. It was an unpleasant split but Cassidy said he didn’t want to wait to get back into the coaching game. He was eager to get behind a different bench and Vegas was actively looking to find a coach after firing Peter DeBoer.
Cassidy was among the most coveted available coaches and few believed it would take long for him to land somewhere. Some of the dominos waiting to fall in the coaching world had to do with Barry Trotz and whatever decision he might make, but when Cassidy became available, a number of teams likely started looking in his direction.
There’s a good reason Cassidy was so popular. He had a 245-108-46 record and led the Bruins to the playoffs in all of his six seasons behind the bench. It wasn’t a great year for the Bruins this past season and there are certainly lingering questions the team will have to answer this coming year but Cassidy wasn’t the issue there, even if there were rumors he wasn’t seeing eye to eye with some of the players. GM Don Sweeney said it was just time to go in a different direction.
The Golden Knights will try to get back to being a playoff team under Cassidy’s direction. They were expected to win the Pacific Division when the season began and some poor play, injuries, and all-around bad luck kept them from getting into the postseason for the first time in franchise history. They are a team that fans have come to enjoy rooting against because of how they manage the salary cap, but they do have some good players, led by Jack Eichel, Alex Pietrangelo, Mark Stone, and Max Pacioretty.
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