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Stanley Cup Playoffs

Candid Bruce Cassidy: Finally Winning, Elvis Wigs, but Forgets What Day it Is



Vegas Golden Knights, Bruce Cassidy

SUMMERLIN, NV — Vegas Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy was a little worse for wear Friday. A water bottle with a little vitamin C additive sat to his right. The coach had not yet met with his team as exit interviews occur later in the day, but Cassidy had obviously enjoyed the celebrations since winning the Stanley Cup on home ice Tuesday.

His voice was a little hoarse, and he admitted he needed some sleep.

“We’ve got a parade in a couple of days. I’ll have to get my act together, get ready to go,” but Cassidy was reminded the Golden Knights’ parade was tomorrow and had a laugh at his expense.

“Oh, it’s tomorrow? That’s right, it is tomorrow. I’d better get a nap in somewhere,” he said to laughter. “I don’t know what else to say. I’d better get a nap.”

We qued the video to Cassidy’s slip:


Cassidy can be forgiven for losing track of days. He’s been to the Stanley Cup Final once before but tasted the bitterness of a Game 7 defeat. He admitted he couldn’t remember much of that run because the loss overwhelmed the experience.

This time, Cassidy remembers little details, short meetings, and moments in games. Though he did so with a few classic quips.

“(The 2019 Stanley Cup Final loss) stayed with me a long time. That loss. That feeling — and whether that’s healthy or not is probably a conversation for someone in a lab coat more than me — At the end of the day, I hope that feeling of winning stays with me as long as the losing. You need to enjoy those moments. You got to be ready to go to work next. We know that. We can see what happens quickly if you’re not ready to go.

“I think this one will last longer than the dejection of the loss in ’19. I don’t have great memories of every game in the ’19 loss. I had memories of the last game,” Cassidy continued. “Of course, I think I’ll remember a lot more of this playoff run. Meetings we had with guys, little things that were said, the Elvis wig. All those little things.”

You can thank Jack Eichel for that Elvis wig the players awarded after games.

Even old friend Ed Belfour, whom Cassidy hasn’t talked to in nearly 20 years, reached out. It’s been a wild few days.

Cassidy’s One Year

One year ago, the Golden Knights announced Bruce Cassidy as their new coach. It was a unique situation. VGK president George McPhee fired Cassidy about 17 years prior as the coach of the Washington Capitals, and last summer, Cassidy was embattled as the bench boss of the Boston Bruins.

Several Bruins players led a locker room revolt to oust Cassidy.

Beleaguered, he took the Golden Knights job shortly after they terminated coach Pete DeBoer. Cassidy admitted he wanted to remain with Boston, but the Vegas Golden Knights job was the best thing that’s happened to him.

“Here we are a year later. I couldn’t be happier,” said Cassidy.

McPhee also recounted a story Friday that caught a few off guard. GM Kelly McCrimmon asked captain Mark Stone to call Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron to find out about Cassidy, and Bergeron gave a ringing endorsement.

“If Vegas hires Bruce, they’ll win the Stanley Cup next year,” Bergeron purportedly said.

The Vegas Golden Knights are still reveling in their Stanley Cup victory and will do so for some time. The group was in Montana at owner Bill Foley’s retreat and making their way back for Saturday’s parade down the Strip, finishing at Toshiba Plaza.

The Cup run is a grueling two-month process, not for the faint of heart. The Florida Panthers suffered several injuries that will last into next season. After a season of injuries, especially in the net, the Golden Knights were remarkably healthy throughout the run.

Despite this being Cassidy’s second Cup FInal as a head coach, the bench boss admitted he learned something new.

“People asked me what I learned — you don’t have to be perfect to win the Stanley Cup. That’s what I learned this year,” Cassidy said. “As a coach, you think you’ve got to be (up) here all the time. It’s not. There are many highs and lows, and sometimes, you’ve got to find your game at the right time, and we were able to do that.”

The lessons and the memories are still setting.

Perhaps a few more things will become clear in the coming days … if Cassidy gets some sleep.

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