Standout young defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo remain unsigned on the eve of training camp, but the Boston Bruins took care of business by inking another of their most important pieces Wednesday.
Head coach Bruce Cassidy, who guided the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final last season in just his second full season behind the bench, was signed to a multiyear extension by the team.
Cassidy, who has coached the Bruins to a combined 117-52-22 record in his two-plus seasons since replacing Claude Julien in February 2017, had one year remaining on his current deal. But his represesntative, Francois Giguere, and Bruins general manager Don Sweeney were able to hammer out a new pact, which will keep the 54-year-old Cassidy rolling out lines for the Black-and-Gold for the forseeable future.
"I wanted to have it done (before camp) so you have a bit of a clearer head going into the year, (so) you’re not worried about that stuff," Cassidy told reporters. "You should be able to separate the two, but at the end of the day, I felt it was important ... I wanted to focus on getting this team ready for Dallas, our first game (Oct. 3) and getting back to have a successful season."
For the second straight season, Cassidy guided the Bruins to a second place finish in the Atlantic Division behind Tampa Bay, then saw his team defeat Toronto, Columbus and Carolina to win the Eastern Conference championship. They reached Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final before losing to St. Louis, 4-1, at TD Garden.
"He's earned the right to lead this club," Sweeney said of Cassidy, "and this doesn't start from two years ago. It starts from a number of years ago, where I got to know Bruce really well, working with him. And to me, those translate into a lot of the ideals he has as a coach in an everyday approach."
Cassidy and the Bruins will begin training camp Thursday at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton. They'll begin the preseason Monday in New Jersey; start the regular season in Dallas and, following a four-game road trip that includes stops in Arizona, Vegas and Colorado, will then host the Devils in their home opener Saturday, Oct. 12.