On June 6th, the Bruins’ management shocked the fan base when they announced the firing of head coach Bruce Cassidy who was assured his job was safe two weeks prior. Since then, the Bruins’ off-season has been full of dysfunction as the speculation has been the Bruins are possibly eyeing a rebuild with talks of trading David Pastrnak. That has cooled off in the last week as it’s been reported that team captain Patrice Bergeron will indeed be coming back for another season. Having Bergeron back provides instant stability to the Bruins’ top-six and quiets any talks of a rebuild for another year. While all this has been going on, the Bruins have interviewed a handful of candidates to take over behind the bench. After a couple of weeks of interviews, it is being reported the Bruins have narrowed down their search to two finalists.
According to Elliotte Friedman, the Bruins have narrowed the search down to David Quinn and Jim Montgomery as the two find themselves on the shortlist. Both coaches have experience as head coaches in the NHL, with Quinn coaching the New York Rangers previously in his career and Montgomery with the Dallas Stars. While many initially thought Jay Leach was a front-runner thanks to his roots in the organization, it seems the inexperience as an NHL head coach did indeed play a factor in the end.
Quinn has a connection to the city of Boston as he’s an alum of Boston University and was a coach on Jack Parker’s staff before taking over for the legendary coach. He would spend five years as the head coach at BU before taking over for the Rangers in 2018. As the New York Bench boss, he compiled an overall record of 96-87-25 with one playoff berth over his three years before getting fired in 2021. It was reported that Quinn met with Bruins ownership and, so far, is the only candidate reported to have done so.
Just like Quinn, Montgomery has head coaching experience at both the college and NHL ranks. The former Denver head coach won the NCAA title in 2017 and turned his successful five-year run as head coach of the Pioneers into a head coaching gig in the NHL with the Dallas Stars. In his first season in Dallas, he compiled a 43-32-7 record and secured a playoff berth in 2018-2019, where they ultimately fell in the second round to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues. While Montgomery had his personal issues in Dallas that cost him his job as he struggled with alcohol abuse that led to rehab, he has been back on track since getting the help he needed. He has been an assistant coach on the St. Louis Blues staff since September 2020.
When can fans expect a final decision?
At this point in time, it’s a waiting game for the Bruins to make a decision. With development camp set to open on July 11th one would think the decision will be coming in the coming days, with next week being the latest. It’s clear that the Bruins have decided they want to go the established coaching route instead of turning to a homegrown coaching product. While it seems David Quinn is the likely candidate to be hired, Montgomery may be the better option for Boston with the success he had in Denver and in Dallas. Whatever route the Bruins do take for their next bench boss, general manager Don Sweeney must find players to put on the ice that will give the new head coach the best opportunity to succeed.