Still looking for a coach, the Boston Bruins, ‘one of the league’s most successful franchises,’ reward general manager Don Sweeney with an extension

BOSTON — All those wins and playoff appearances weren’t enough for Bruce Cassidy to keep his job as Boston Bruins coach. But they earned general manager Don Sweeney a contract extension.

The Bruins said Monday they signed Sweeney to a multi-year extension, six weeks after losing in the first round of the playoffs and three weeks after he fired Cassidy.

“Under his leadership, the Boston Bruins have been one of the league’s most successful franchises and a consistent playoff contender year after year,” CEO Charlie Jacobs said. “While we recognize that there is work to be done to achieve the ultimate goal of bringing the Stanley Cup back to Boston, I am confident that Don’s commitment to being best in class on and off the ice will help us to climb this mountain once again.”

Under Sweeney, the Bruins reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 2019, had the league’s best record the following year and had at least 100 points in each of the past four full non-pandemic seasons.

Of course, the same could be said for Cassidy, who was fired on June 6. The 2020 Jack Adams Award winner has since taken over the Vegas Golden Knights; the Bruins remain without a coach.

The Bruins noted in a statement that the team is one of only four in the Eastern Conference to have made the playoffs in each of the past six seasons.

But team president Cam Neely attributed that to Sweeney, not Cassidy.

“I have seen firsthand his tireless work ethic when it comes to all facets of front office management,” Neely said. “He remains committed to doing whatever it takes to give the Boston Bruins the best chance to win every season.”

That said, Boston has lost in the first or second round each of the past three seasons and find themselves in an Atlantic Division where they have to face the likes of the Florida Panthers, the Presidents’ Trophy winners this season, and Tampa Bay. . Lightning, three-time defending Eastern Conference champion.

Sweeney, 55, is fourth on the Bruins’ all-time list for games played and ranks in the franchise’s top 10 career lists for assists and points by a defenseman. He joined the team’s front office in 2006 as director of player development and rose through the ranks before being promoted to general manager in 2015.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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