Bruce James Cassidy (born May 20, 1965 in Ottawa, Ontario) is a Canadian professional ice hockey coach and former player. He is currently the head coach of the Boston Bruins. As a defenceman, he played for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was formerly the head coach of the Washington Capitals.

Bruce Cassidy
Born May 20, 1965 (age 51)

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 176 lb (80 kg; 12 st 8 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Left
Played for Chicago Blackhawks
NHL Draft 18th overall, 1983

Chicago Black Hawks

Playing career 1983–1997

Playing career[edit | edit source]

Cassidy was a defenceman who played in the Ontario Hockey League with the Ottawa 67's from 1982–1985, and he was selected by the Chicago Black Hawks of the National Hockey League in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, selected in the 1st round, 18th overall. Cassidy's best OHL season was in 1982–83, when he registered 25 goals and 86 assists for 111 points. He won the Memorial Cup under coach Brian Kilrea in 1984 scoring 12 points. At the age of 19, he made his NHL debut with the Black Hawks in March 1984. During the years of 1984–1988, he had 3 knee surgeries, including major reconstruction of his ACL.

Between 1985–1990, Cassidy would spend most of his time in the Hawks minor league system, playing with the Nova Scotia Oilers of the American Hockey League, the Saginaw Generals of the International Hockey League, the Saginaw Hawks of the IHL and the Indianapolis Ice, also in the IHL.

Cassidy's NHL playing career was limited due to his knee surgeries. Yet, Cassidy would also play 36 games with Chicago during those years, scoring 4 goals and adding 13 assists for 17 points, along with 10 PIM.

After winning the Turner Cup in the IHL, Cassidy then signed with Alleghe HC in Italy, and played 2 years with the club 1990–1992 and 1992–1993 in the Italian Ice Hockey League, appearing in 51 games, while getting 117 points (35G-82A).

After his stint in Italy, Cassidy then spent the 1993–94 season with Kaufbeuren of the German Hockey League, getting 17 points (8G-9A) in 35 games.

Cassidy then returned to the Blackhawks organization with the Indianapolis Ice from 1994–97 before retiring as a player 10 games into the 96–97 season to take a head coaching job with the Jacksonville Lizard Kings of the ECHL in mid-season.

Career statistics[edit | edit source]

Season Team League Regular Season Playoffs
1982–83 Ottawa 67's OHL 70 25 86 111 33 9 3 9 12 10
1983–84 Ottawa 67's OHL 67 27 68 95 58 13 6 16 22 6
1983–84 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 1 0 0 0 0 -- -- -- -- --
1984–85 Ottawa 67's OHL 28 13 27 40 15 -- -- -- -- --
1985–86 Nova Scotia Oilers AHL 4 0 0 0 0 -- -- -- -- --
1985–86 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 1 0 0 0 0 -- -- -- -- --
1986–87 Canadian National Team Intl 12 3 6 9 4
1986–87 Saginaw Generals IHL 10 2 13 15 6 2 1 1 2 0
1986–87 Nova Scotia Oilers AHL 19 2 8 10 4 -- -- -- --
1986–87 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 2 0 0 0 0 -- -- -- --
1987–88 Saginaw Hawks IHL 60 9 37 46 59 10 2 3 5 19
1987–88 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 21 3 10 13 6 -- -- -- -- --
1988–89 Saginaw Hawks IHL 72 16 64 80 80 6 0 2 2 6
1988–89 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 9 0 2 2 4 1 0 0 0 0
1989–90 Indianapolis Ice IHL 75 11 46 57 56 14 1 10 11 20
1989–90 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 2 1 1 2 0 -- -- -- -- --
1990–91 Alleghe HC Italy 36 23 52 75 20
1992–93 Alleghe HC Italy 25 12 30 42 10
1993–94 Kaufbeuren ESV 1.GBu 33 8 9 17 12
1994–95 Indianapolis Ice IHL 29 2 13 15 16 -- -- -- -- --
1995–96 Indianapolis Ice IHL 56 5 16 21 46 5 1 0 1 4
1996–97 Indianapolis Ice IHL 10 0 4 4 11 -- -- -- - --
NHL Totals 36 4 13 17 10 1 0 0 0 0

Coaching career[edit | edit source]

Jacksonville Lizard Kings (1996–1998)[edit | edit source]

Cassidy retired as a player with the Indianapolis Ice of the IHL to become head coach of the Jacksonville Lizard Kings of the ECHL in 1996-97. Cassidy took over the team which started the year 6–12–2, and led them to a 15–25–10 record.

The Lizard Kings greatly improved in Cassidy's 2nd year with the team, as they finished with a record of 35–29–6, with 76 points.

Indianapolis Ice (1998–1999)[edit | edit source]

In 1998–99, Cassidy was promoted to head coach of the Indianapolis Ice of the IHL, the club finished the year at 33–37–12=78 points and qualified for the playoffs. In the first round, they played the heavily favoured Cincinnati Cyclones in a best of three series, and the Cyclones won the opening game 4–2. The Ice came back and won the 2nd game 4–3 in OT, and then took the series by winning 1–0 in game three in Cincinnati. In the second round, the Ice fell three games to one to the Detroit Vipers and were eliminated from the playoffs.

Trenton Titans (1999–2000)[edit | edit source]

As the Ice folded after the 98–99 season, Cassidy took the head coaching job with the expansion Trenton Titans of the ECHL, and led them to a 37–29–4 record, good for fourth place in the Northeast Division. The Titans made short work of the Richmond Renegades in the first round, sweeping them three games to none. In the second round, they faced off against the Hampton Roads Admirals, and beat them three games to two. The Titans would then fall four games to two to the Peoria Rivermen, in the semi-finals.

Grand Rapids Griffins (2000–2002)[edit | edit source]

Cassidy then moved to the Ottawa Senators organization, and became head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins of the IHL. The club finished with the best record in the league (53–22–7, 113 points), and they swept the Cleveland Lumberjacks in four games before falling to the Orlando Solar Bears in six games in the semi-finals.

Cassidy returned to Grand Rapids for the 2001–02 season, leading them to another division title with a 42–27–11, 95 pts record, but the team lost in the first round to the Chicago Wolves in five games.

Washington Capitals (2002–2004)[edit | edit source]

The Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League took notice of Cassidy's success in the minors and hired him to become the head coach of the club in 2002–03. The Capitals finished in second place in the Southeast with a 39–29–8–6=92 points record, were seeded sixth in the Eastern Conference and faced the third-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning in the opening round of the playoffs. The Capitals won the first two games in Tampa Bay, however, the Lightning rebounded and won four in-a-row to eliminate the Capitals from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Cassidy returned in 2003–04, he was 25 games into the season with an 8–16–1 record when he was let go from the Washington Capitals and replaced by assistant coach Glen Hanlon. The club would go on and finish with the third-worst record in the league under Glen Hanlon (23–46–10–3=59 points), but won the draft lottery and chose Alexander Ovechkin with their first overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Chicago Blackhawks (2004–2006)[edit | edit source]

Cassidy signed on as an assistant coach with the Blackhawks in June 2004. With the NHL lockout cancelling the 2004–05 NHL season, Cassidy was behind the Blackhawks bench as an assistant to head coach Trent Yawney for the 2005–06 NHL season. The Blackhawks struggled to a 26–43–13 record, earning 65 points and missed the playoffs. Cassidy's contract was not renewed given his better fit as a head coach.

Kingston Frontenacs (2006–2008)[edit | edit source]

He was hired by the Kingston Frontenacs on July 12, 2006. On September 10, 2006, in a pre-season exhibition game between Kingston and Ottawa, Cassidy got the chance to coach against his former coach and mentor Kilrea; the Frontenacs lost 4–3, thanks to Ottawa's 3-point men Matt Lahey and Thomas Kiriakou, who each had two goals and an assist. During the regular season, Cassidy quickly rebounded in the home opener and beat his former proud mentor by 9–5.

During his first season as head coach, the Frontenacs would finish with a 31–30–7 record, earning them 69 points and fifth place in the Eastern Conference. The Fronts would face the Oshawa Generals in the first round of the playoffs, and would be eliminated in five games.

Cassidy returned to Kingston to begin the 2007–08 season, however, after a rough 2–9–1 start to the season, he was let go from the Frontenacs and replaced by Larry Mavety. Cassidy finished with a 33–39–8 record with the club.

Providence Bruins (2008–2016)[edit | edit source]

Cassidy joined the Providence Bruins of the AHL as an assistant coach in the 2008-09 season, under head coach Rob Murray. Cassidy held this position for three years before being promoted to head coach of the team for the 2011–12 season after Murray was fired.

During his first season as head coach of the Providence Bruins, the club posted a 35–34–7 record, earning 77 points and failing to qualify for the postseason.

In his second season with Providence in 2012–13, the Bruins had the best record in the league, going 50–21–5 for 105 points, first place in the Atlantic Division. In the first round of the playoffs, the Bruins defeated the Hershey Bears in five games, setting up a second round series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Providence took a commanding 3–0 lead in the best-of-seven series, however, the Penguins mounted a comeback, and won the final four games to upset the Bruins in seven games.

Providence made the playoffs once again in 2013–14, finishing with a 40–25–11 record, earning 91 points and seventh place in the Eastern Conference. In the first round, the Bruins upset the second seeded Springfield Falcons in five games, before losing to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in seven games in the second round.

In 2014–15, Cassidy led the Bruins to their third consecutive season with 40 or more victories, as Providence earned a 41–26–9 record, getting 91 points, as the club finished in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. In the postseason, the Bruins lost to the Hartford Wolf Pack in five games, losing the final game in overtime to be eliminated.

During the 2015–16 season, he led the team to a 41–22–13 record with them finishing in fourth place in the Eastern Conference during the regular season. The team lost the Division Semifinals to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in three games.

Boston Bruins (2016–present)[edit | edit source]

On May 24, 2016, Cassidy joined the Boston Bruins as assistant coach for the 2016–17 NHL season. On February 7, 2017, he was named the interim head coach after the team fired Claude Julien, and on April 26, the Bruins named him head coach.

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