Quick Bit: Cassidy was fired by Boston on Monday after six seasons.

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One of the NHL’s deepest head coaching markets in recent memory just got even deeper on Monday after the Bruins announced they were firing head coach Bruce Cassidy.

Cassidy oversaw six successful seasons in Boston after taking over for Claude Julien in the middle of the 2016-17 campaign. The Bruins made the playoffs every year under Cassidy and made it all the way to the finals in 2019 before falling to the Blues in seven games.

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney admitted that the 57-year-old did not take the firing well. Cassidy declined to comment on the matter, but said his emotions were still “very raw.”

Now, as the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, which allows one team the potential to cash in by hiring the Ottawa native with a career .635 win percentage in the regular season.

He immediately joins a group of potential candidates looking for new employment.

With five teams in need of a new head coach and three other clubs with coaches on an interim tag, there should be plenty of interest in Cassidy. It would not be a surprise to see him on another NHL bench as a head coach at the start of the 2022-23 season.

MORE: Ranking the Bruins’ 4 best coaching candidates to replace Bruce Cassidy

Here is a look at some of the top destinations for Cassidy.

1. Stars

When Cassidy took over for Julien in 2017, he was brought in to help open up the offense by allowing the offensive playmakers to have more leeway and get more out of the defensive-minded players.

The Stars need exactly that. Rick Bowness elected to step away from his position as head coach and Dallas has an opportunity now to get someone that will give some of their young players an opportunity who excel on the opponent’s end, but struggle a bit in their own zone.

Bowness was known to limit the time on ice for players like Denis Gurianov and Jacob Peterson, two players who possess excellent skill sets for scoring goals, and elect instead to roll out his depth players who were responsible in their own zone. If Cassidy’s at the helm, he may open it up more and allow Gurianov and Peterson to have more freedom out on the ice.

2. Red Wings

One of the more tantalizing jobs is the Red Wings. They have a ton of promising prospects that either broke out in the NHL this season (Mo Seider, Lucas Raymond) or will be in the near future (Simon Edvinsson).

The Red Wings’ defense was a problem, allowing the second-most goals per game (3.78) in 2021-22 and owned the worst penalty kill. The Bruins were one of the stronger defense and PK teams during Cassidy’s time in Boston. Sure, the roster was better than the Red Wings, but the systems that Cassidy brings could work for Detroit.

The biggest question is going to be how much general manager Steve Yzerman buys into Sweeney and Bruins president Cam Neely’s observation that young players were afraid to make mistakes under Cassidy.

If true, Detroit would be within their right to stay away, considering how much the Red Wings are going to rely on its youth. However, if he feels Cassidy’s method could resonate with his young crew, then Cassidy could be the replacement for Jeff Blashill.

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3. Golden Knights

Of all the open jobs, the Golden Knights is the team in the best position to win now. With that, GM Kelly McCrimmon is going to want someone who can’t get the team over the hump and bounce back after a poor year in 2021-22.

Cassidy has the experience of coaching a team with a dominant top line, which is what the Golden Knights will need. Next season will mark the first year that Mark Stone, Jack Eichel and Max Pacioretty will be playing together. After coaching the line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, Cassidy showed that he could ride that line, and also knew when to split it up if needed.

Getting the Bruins to the playoffs wasn’t an issue for Cassidy. It was getting far that was the issue. Boston only advanced past the second round once during his tenure, which is when the team made it to the finals in 2019. So, if Sweeney’s summation about Cassidy is correct, McCrimmon and the Golden Knights might stray away from going after Cassidy.

An interesting tidbit connecting Cassidy to Las Vegas is when he was hired in Washington for his first gig as an NHL head coach, it was now Golden Knights president of hockey operations George McPhee who hired him. So there’s a connection to be made there.

Originally found on Sporting News Read More

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