BRUCE CASSIDY, CLAUDE JULIEN, CAM NEELY AND DON SWEENEY
A .672 winning percentage over 399 career regular-season games.
A 36–37 career playoff record with zero Stanley Cups, a game-7 loss to the St. Louis Blues in the 2019 Finals, as agonizingly close as it would come.
A roster with not enough pieces to cobble together–on average–more than a round or two of winning in the NHL postseason.
All adding up to a curt dismissal of head coach Bruce Cassidy, the ultimate case of shifting blame and abject scapegoating.
The Jacobs family, Boston Bruins President Cam Neely and General Manager Don Sweeney are hardly distinguishing themselves.
They should be ashamed.
Deposed coach Cassidy looks a lot better to me, than the aforementioned ownership and executive stooges.
Let’s call a spade a spade.
Neely and Sweeney should be gone.
And the Jacobs family should put their money where their ‘mouths’ are.
Not just for the die-hard Boston sports fan.
The 2022-’23 Bruins will start the season without their nucleus.
Captain Patrice Bergeron has yet to decide whether or not he’ll retire.
Brad Marchand, Charlie McEvoy, Matt Grzelcyk, and Mike Reilly will be rehabbing from off-season surgeries, unavailable until well into the regular-season.
(Bergeron himself was spotted wearing an elbow brace, which an unannounced surgery has apparently demanded).
They do not expect to go all-out this summer to attract top-flight free agents.
Not much cap space.
A word loathed in the Beantown sports lexicon.
And this was Cassidy’s fault?
Cassidy-led teams made the playoffs in each of his six seasons behind the bench.
They reached the second round four times and the Stanley Cup Final once.
But Sweeney and Neely thought the messaging had gotten stale.
You know, ‘a new voice’ needed, or some such drivel.
Why not look in the mirror?
“You don’t go out and get 107 points, win 51 games, if players aren’t responding to you,” Sweeney conceded.
“He was able to push buttons that were necessary.
But it takes its toll over the course of time.
You’ve got to find a way to deliver that message a little differently, the personnel changes, and you cycle it out.”
Sweeney’s own contract remains unsettled.
He said that it will get done.
Maybe Julien–canned by the Bs in favor of Cassidy–would be available for an encore.
My advice to Sweeney?
Get on a tandem bike with Neely and start pedaling like mad.
Right on out of town.
[Editor’s Note: This piece was written by Mr. Kaplan in June 2022.]