Bruce Cassidy admitted ‘surprise’ at being fired by Bruins, believed he’d be back for another season

"I want to coach as soon as possible because it's what I love to do."

Bruce Cassidy Bruins fired
Bruce Cassidy coaching the Bruins in April, 2022. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

In his first public comments since being unexpectedly fired as head coach of the Bruins on Monday, Bruce Cassidy explained to reporters on Thursday the extent to which his dismissal was a surprise.

According to Cassidy, he was told by Boston general manager Don Sweeney following the team’s playoff elimination that he would return for another season (the final year in his contract).

However, when Sweeney came to Cassidy’s home on Monday to talk, the circumstances had changed. Cassidy was out.

“I was under the assumption and preparing for it,” Cassidy said of returning for another year in Boston. “But at the end of the day, you are always on the clock as a coach. So it did catch me a bit by surprise.”


“Donny was very respectful,” Cassidy added. “I don’t agree with it. I want to be coach of the Boston Bruins, but I’m on to the next challenge and hopefully I can be successful.”

Cassidy, 57, had been with the Bruins organization for 14 years, culminating with a head coaching run that included a 2019 Stanley Cup Final appearance.

“First off, I want to thank the city of Boston and Bruins fans for all their support over the years,” he said. “It has been a privilege and honor to lead the Original Six franchise here.”

Given that he was fired despite never missing the playoffs, Cassidy was asked if he felt like it was a tough outcome from his standpoint.

“I’m not sure about that,” he replied. “I feel like I did my job. We can always be better. Anybody walks away at the end of the year wondering where they could do better to be the last team standing.

“At the end of the day I understand the business part of it,” Cassidy continued. “Coaches come and go. I had an opportunity because a very good coach got let go who won a Stanley Cup.”

As for the critique about his “messaging” with players, Cassidy acknowledged that there’s always room for improvement.


“In my next challenge, I’ll make sure that I’m mindful of the messaging,” Cassidy admitted. “Because I respect Donny when he talks to me about what you need to do to be better. He’s been in the game a long time. So that’s something I’ll have to take with me to the next job.

“But still drive home the accountability,” he added, “because I don’t think you have much of a team if players aren’t held accountable to a standard.”

Looking ahead, Cassidy firmly maintained that he wants to keep coaching. Several NHL positions are a possibility, with a report already linking him to the Philadelphia Flyers.

“I want to get back to work. Hopefully it’s the best fit possible for both sides,” concluded Cassidy. “I want to coach as soon as possible because it’s what I love to do.”


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