The Bruins made a franchise-altering move today, firing their coach and naming assistant coach Bruce Cassidy as his interim replacement.
Cassidy was formerly the head coach of the Washington Capitals, where he lasted a season and a half. He’s coached at nearly every level you can in professional hockey, including the ECHL and IHL.
However, there’s an “interim” tag on his title for a reason: he’s not a permanent replacement.
The Bruins would be wise to begin their search for a permanent replacement soon, as several teams, including the expansion Las Vegas Knights, will need a bench boss this summer.
If the Bruins are serious about improving young talent while also remaining competitive, there’s one name that should be at the top of their list:
Julien, recently let go by an NHL club after nearly a decade behind the bench, is one of the most respected coaches in the NHL.
He won a Stanley Cup Championship in 2011 and led his team to another Final appearance in 2013. He’s a Jack Adams Award winner and an Olympic gold medalist.
Julien has coached nearly 1,000 NHL games over the course of his career, racking up 542 wins in the process. He’s won division championships, Presidents Trophies, conference titles...you name it, Julien has done it.
He’s also a strong system-oriented coach, instructing his players on the best tactics to use to get the most out of their defensive abilities.
Julien has been known to get “more out of less,” frequently turning lesser players into regular NHLers through his coaching and strategy.
The Bruins are a team in transition, trying to balance between improving rapidly and rebuilding for a longer run in the future. They have some young talent, some wily veterans and some guys in the middle who could use some guidance.
If the Bruins are serious about improving the team quickly, they’ll need a veteran coach with a strong system and a great track record.
It’s clear: that coach is Claude Julien, and now that he’s available, the Bruins would be wise to grab him before it’s too late.