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NHL Rumours: Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers

NHL Rumours

Welcome back to another edition of NHL Rumours on Last Word on Hockey. With more teams dropping out of the playoffs, more NHL rumours hit the internet. Today we will be discussing the Boston Bruins for two reasons: Bruce Cassidy remaining the coach and Jake DeBrusk staying with the Bruins. We will also cover the Philadelphia Flyers and their search for a new coach.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Boston Bruins: Bruce Cassidy

Rumour: Boston Bruins President, Cam Neely, talks to the media about changes that need to happen within the organisation. This may elude to the fact that a coaching change could be incoming. 

Analysis: The Boston Bruins season was cut short after a First Round Game 7 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Just days after the loss, the Bruins are looking at many potential changes. One of the big changes is the uncertainty of captain, Patrice Bergeron, returning. Another big question mark is what will happen to head coach, Bruce Cassidy? In an end of season interview, Neely, states “I think we have to look at changing how we do some things. I think Bruce is a fantastic coach, but I do think we need to make some changes with how we coach.” Cassidy, who has one year left in his contract, has been the head coach since 2017. In his time at Boston, he is 245-108-46 and won the Jack Adams Award in 2020.

General manager, Don Sweeney, has cited offensive production as a point of differences of opinion on how the team should be run. He believes that Cassidy should find a way to generate a more consistent attack. Though one could argue that Cassidy is doing the best with what he’s got. Additionally, the Bruins have not missed the playoffs since Cassidy’s first full season. If Cassidy hits the market and is looking for another team, he could be a hot commodity.

Boston Bruins: Jake DeBrusk

Rumour: NBC Sports Boston reports that Jake DeBrusk has not rescinded his request for a trade. 

Analysis: DeBrusk, a 25-year-old forward for the Boston Bruins wrapped up his fifth year with the team. Right before the trade deadline, DeBrusk extended his contract for a two-year, $8 million contract. A seemingly fair deal for a player who put up 25 goals in 77 games. However, it is not forgotten that DeBrusk requested a trade from the team in Nov. 2021. Even though he made it very clear he did not want to be in Boston, DeBrusk still showed up and played hard for his team. In the last 20 games of the season, he tallied 16 points. As well as scoring two important goals in the seven-game playoff series against the Hurricanes.

During the end of season interviews, Sweeney was asked about where DeBrusk stood, to which he answered, “I don’t think things have changed other than he’s happier.” This could be contributed to DeBrusk’s second wind and end of season success. With the Bruins looking at the possibility of a new coach and filling the massive role left behind by Bergeron, if he doesn’t return; DeBrusk could be looked at as a trade piece for the Bruins. In his end of season interview, DeBrusk was asked about the status of his trade request and he stated, “I haven’t thought about it, to be honest with you.” There is a real possibility that DeBrusk could be moved this offseason to better benefit him and the Bruins.

Philadelphia Flyers

Rumour: The Athletic’s Charlie O’Connor checks in on Philadelphia’s hunt for a new head coach. 

Analysis: Shortly after the regular season ended, the Flyers announced they were letting head coach Mike Yeo go. General manager, Chuck Fletcher, is “determined to leave no stone unturned.” Fletcher also states, “we’re going to sit down and try to build that ideal candidate profile and really keep all options open.” Fletcher, who has one year left on his contract, is looking to end the revolving door that is coaching for the Flyers. Some of the options on the market are Barry Trotz, John Tortorella, Rick Tocchet, Jim Montgomery, and Paul Maurice.

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Word on the street is Trotz is the front runner for the Flyers. Though he interviewed with the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday, he has an interview scheduled with the Flyers on Friday. The Flyers are a team that lacks identity and Trotz being a defence-oriented coach, would provide that for the team. Tocchet, a former Flyers player, has spent his time with the Arizona Coyotes as a head coach. His deep roots in the team could possibly appease the fans, but his lack of experience puts him lower on the list of possibilities. Another speculation has been pointed to Montgomery.

Although, as an assistant coach for the St Louis Blues, his team is still in the playoffs and he has been unable to entertain any potential moves. Montgomery, who was 61-43-10 for the Dallas Stars, was fired mid-season. Shortly after he was admitted to rehab due to struggles with alcoholism. Although it is unclear which directions the Flyers will go, one thing is clear. The Flyers are willing to spend a pretty penny for the right fit.

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