Cassidy: Taking Golden Knights job a ‘no-brainer’

NHL

LAS VEGAS — Bruce Cassidy is the third coach of the Vegas Golden Knights within the franchise’s sixth yr, and he stated the choice was a “no-brainer” from a hockey perspective.

In spite of everything, Vegas has been one of many NHL’s most profitable groups since getting into the league in 2017, making the playoffs 4 instances, together with a visit to the Stanley Cup Last in its inaugural season.

The larger problem for Cassidy was convincing his spouse, Julie, and kids Shannon and Cole, concerning the transfer to Las Vegas.

“I am from Canada, she’s from New Jersey, how it might have an effect on the children?” Cassidy stated Thursday throughout his introductory information convention. “I am gonna should persuade Cole that he is gonna should get on board with the Black and Silver (Raiders) and never the Pats. That’ll be a problem as a result of, hey, he is a New England child, proper? I will inform him he can have the Purple Sox, however you gotta quit the Pats.”

Hockey-wise, although, they’re formally Golden Knights.

Cassidy, 57, coached the Boston Bruins to 6 straight playoff appearances after changing Claude Julien within the ultimate months of the 2016-17 marketing campaign. He had a 245-108-46 document with Boston when he was fired on June 6, a month after the Bruins misplaced a seven-game first-round collection to Carolina.

Vegas basic supervisor Kelly McCrimmon stated Thursday that Cassidy embodies the traits the franchise has at all times anticipated in a coach.

That features a defensively structured crew that may transfer the puck swiftly in the other way, staying in assault mode whereas protecting opponents on their heels, high-end offensive defensemen who can push the tempo, a goaltender-friendly system, and most significantly, profitable particular groups.

Boston was a top-five protection by way of targets allowed this previous season. The Bruins boasted each the league’s third-best energy play (23.9%) and penalty kill (82.9%) underneath Cassidy’s watch, since he took over in 2017.

“I feel typically I’ve achieved a very good job with sure areas of the sport which are vital within the Nationwide Hockey League,” Cassidy stated. “That is the type of type of play that I consider I can deliver and I’ve tried to get our groups to play. It appears like this group of gamers will need to play that manner and excel in that type.”

The Golden Knights’ 18.4% power-play conversion fee this previous season ranked twenty fifth within the league. Throughout former coach Pete DeBoer’s 2 1/2-year tenure, Vegas ranked twenty first with its energy play (18.6%).

“I do know that it has been a problem right here at totally different instances previously,” McCrimmon stated. “Bruce has achieved it time and again and once more. I assume that is what to me is spectacular. There’s totally different groups and totally different coaches that with the precise personnel and the precise yr you’ve got a extremely good energy play or an actual good penalty kill. Or, perhaps one is healthier than the opposite considerably.

“In Bruce’s case, the penalty kill and the ability play constantly have been very, superb for a protracted time period.”

Cassidy stated figuring out the crew has shortly gone by means of two coaches — neither of whom lasted longer than 2 1/2 seasons — was not a difficulty.

Cassidy’s first stint as a head coach was in Washington, the place he led the Capitals to a playoff look in his first season after compiling a document of 39-29-8 through the 2002-03 common season. He labored underneath Knights president of hockey operations George McPhee, who was the final supervisor on the time and fired Cassidy simply 25 video games into his second season as coach.

“Successful within the postseason. I feel if you come near successful the Cup, it is at all times behind your thoughts and also you need to end the job and positively have that mindset,” he stated. “I believed I did a very good job in Boston — and right here I’m.

“I need my title on the Stanley Cup … and I consider this crew has the flexibility to do this.”

Vegas additionally introduced that veteran defenseman Shea Weber was acquired in a trade with Montreal for ahead Evgenii Dadonov. Weber, 36, didn’t seem in a recreation with the Canadiens final season resulting from a number of lower-body accidents and can stay on injured reserve.

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