Maybe it shouldn’t have come as a complete shock when the Boston Bruins relieved head coach Bruce Cassidy of his duties on Monday.
Despite a 245-108-46 regular season record over six seasons that also included a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2019, the writing appeared to be on the wall when Bruins president Cam Neely openly criticized the way his team played in the playoffs. He questioned the team’s tactics in response to a question about Cassidy before giving a non-committal answer when asked if the coach would return next season.
But the trigger was pulled, along with other head coaching changes that followed at the end of the regular season. The resulting dismissals moved Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe to ninth on the list of longest tenured coaches.
with today’s move in Boston, here at the 10 longest tenured coaches in #NHL. Seem like only yesterday Berube got the Blues job pic.twitter.com/7ERTKmwL1O
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) June 7, 2022
And Keefe just completed his very first 82-game season after his first two seasons in the NHL were abbreviated.
Like Cassidy, there was a lot pressure on Keefe to deliver this season. Both finished with strong regular seasons records (a record 115 point season for Keefe and 107 points for Cassidy). Both teams underwent Game 7 first-round exits.
There may have been some that though that Keefe deserved a similar fate, given the way the last couple of playoffs had gone for him, but management elected to stay the course following a Game 7 first-round exit to the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
Whether you agree or disagree with the process, changing head coaches has never been more in style than it has been lately. Despite the increa …
Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation