Fans often joke that the NHL has 32-ish head coaches and that when one is fired, he just rotates to a new team.
See guys like Peter DeBoer (rotating to Dallas) and John Tortorella (adding a name to his Metropolitan Division checklist in Philadelphia) as illustrations of that point.
The NHL isn’t exactly known as a wide open, “let’s try a new guy” league, I guess is the point here.
When the Bruins fired Bruce Cassidy, many fans assumed it would be one of those coaching retreads (Barry Trotz was a common name) who would take the reins.
However, it appears that they might be set to eschew guys with decades of NHL head coaching experience on their resumes and look for something different.
Speaking on his 32 Thoughts podcast yesterday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman had this to say about the Bruins’ coaching search:
“I think in Boston, it’s going to be someone a bit fresher [than DeBoer]. It’s going to be Montgomery, or it’s going to be Leach, or it’s going to be Quinn...I’ve heard Vellucci’s name in there...Spencer Carbery.”
There are, of course, two things worth noting here:
- Quinn is a recycled coach, though maybe not as “grizzled veteran NHL coach” as DeBoer, Tortorella, or Barry Trotz. I’m not quite sure that means he qualifies as “fresh,” but...yeah.
- Friedman is casting himself a pretty wide net here by naming a whole bunch of guys at once. To be fair, he didn’t say these guys are finalists, just people being considered, but that’s a lot of darts thrown at the board.
He also went on to mention that the Bruins may have tried to talk to Carbery right before he was hired by Toronto, which was last summer — given the timing, you’d assume it was for an assistant or AHL role, not Bruce Cassidy’s gig.
Other names Friedman mentioned included former Bruin Marc Savard and Providence College coach Nate Leaman, who he noted was close to being hired as the Providence Bruins coach a few years ago.
Of Savard, Friedman said:
“Your buddy Marc Savard too...I do wonder about that. He’s a good name. It fits with what they’re thinking...it really does.”
It’s the season of rumor and innuendo, so take all of this with several grains of salt.
If nothing else, it’d be music to most fans’ ears to hear that the Bruins are looking for a different voice, as opposed to bringing in a guy who crashed and burned out of a few other NHL franchises.
(I still think it’ll end up being Leach, but I don’t know anything.)