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Bruce Cassidy Gets the Most Out of the Golden Knights

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Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy with the Stanley Cup on Cape Cod

Coach Bruce Cassidy appeared on the Cam & Strick Podcast and touched on a number of topics. Breaking down barriers with the players, Jack Eichel as a possible Selkie winner, and what made the Golden Knights different than other top teams.

Breaking down barriers: Brad Marchand is one of the most polarizing players in the NHL. Cassidy described Marchand as a “mouthpiece” when he coached him in the AHL and felt he was a distraction at times. During the 2018 playoffs, Marchand had an incident when he licked Ryan Callahan of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Cassidy had Marchand and his family over after that occurred.

During a private moment, Cassidy asked Marchand what he wanted his legacy to be. Marchand has an impressive resume as a Stanley Cup winner, all-star, and Team Canada player. Cassidy pointed out that Marchand would be remembered for the wrong things if he kept going down the wrong path.

Prior to the 2022-23 season, Eichel and Cassidy met on Cape Cod. The two exchanged what they wanted from one another. Cassidy told Eichel that they would basically succeed or fail together. It was also mentioned that Cassidy was going to roll four lines and that Eichel’s minutes would drop some from Buffalo. Eichel bought in and had no issue with the number of minutes he would play.

We have all had that boss that prefers to send an angry email, write you up, and talk down to you. Hopefully, we have all had that boss that prefers to have a one-on-one conversation with you when things are not going well. It is clear which type of boss Cassidy is.

Cassidy holds all players to an equal level of accountability and has high demands. Players also have an equal opportunity to succeed under Cassidy and will be set up for success.

Eichel as a 200-foot player: The hosts pointed out Eichel’s growth as a 200-foot player and that he can become one of the best 200-foot centers in the league. Cassidy joked that his coaching is getting Eichel to that next level.

Cassidy is using Patrice Bergeron as a player that Eichel can aspire to become. Eichel has the ability to travel long distances in a hurry and can dig in at the end of a game. Cassidy was quick to mention how Eichel stripped the puck from Connor McDavid in the final minutes of a playoff game.

If Eichel can improve his faceoff numbers, Cassidy feels Eichel can be in the Selkie conversation.

Differences between the Golden Knights and other top teams: The strength down the middle is one of the first things Cassidy goes to when describing the biggest strength of the Golden Knights. He feels Chandler Stephenson is a very underrated player and hit on William Karlsson’s value as low maintenance, two-way player. Nic Roy is one of the best fourth-line centers in the league.

The Golden Knights defense is a unique blend of physicality and mobility. Cassidy credited the shot-blocking of Alec Martinez and Brayden McNabb. The meanness of Nic Hague and compete level of Alex Pietrangelo. Cassidy feels the defense is ready to all types of games whether it’s a low scoring affair up-tempo style of play.

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