After six seasons and nearly 250 wins as head coach of the Boston Bruins, Bruce Cassidy makes his return to the city on Monday night as the bench boss of the Vegas Golden Knights.
Both Cassidy and the Bruins find themselves near the top of their respective conferences after the controversial split this past off-season.
Coming off a 51-win season and game-seven loss in the first round against the Carolina Hurricanes, Cassidy was told his job was safe before being dismissed by Boston.
Eight days after his firing, the 57-year-old had agreed to become the third head coach of the Golden Knights, signing a five-year, $22.5-million contract
Under Cassidy, Las Vegas currently holds the best record — 18-7-1 — in the Western Conference, improving upon a 43-31-8 season in 2021-22 when the team missed the playoffs.
Before Monday’s game, the 2019–20 Jack Adams Award winner spoke about being back in Boston over the past 48 hours.
“Colder than Vegas,” he said. “It’s been good, I have great memories from Boston. I’ve spent time with some friends, it’s great to be back in TD Garden and see some familiar faces.
“It’s been a good couple of days.”
Cassidy also spoke about preparing for the “best [home] team” in the NHL.
The Bruins, now coached by Jim Montgomery, are 14-0 at home this season and are currently in second place in the Eastern Conference with an overall 20-3-0 record.
It’s not often that fired coaches and their old clubs find immediate success after parting ways, but Monday night will see two of the NHL’s top teams square off in Boston — almost six months to the day of Cassidy’s firing.