Last month, Providence Bruins coach Jay Leach interviewed for the Arizona Coyotes vacancy, but last week it was revealed that he passed over for the job when the Coyotes selected Andre Tourigny. That was good news for the Boston Bruins as for the time being, it kept Leach in the organization.
Last week, Bruins assistant Jay Pandolfo left coach Bruce Cassidy’s bench to join Albie O’Connell as an assistant coach down the street at Boston University. When Pandolfo left, it would have been a no-brainer for the B’s to bring Leach up from the American Hockey League to replace Pandolfo in Boston.
Unfortunately, that won’t be happening.
Bruins lose another coach, this time to the Kracken.
In just over two weeks, the Seattle Kracken Expansion Draft will take place on July 21. The Bruins will lose one player, more than likely a young talented player off their roster, to the NHL’s 32nd franchise that will begin play this fall in the Pacific Division. When that player is selected, they will most likely be reuniting with their former AHL coach.
It was reported Monday night that Leach was hired by the Kracken as an assistant coach to Dave Hakstol’s staff, leaving behind a very successful time he had with the P-Bruins. In his tenure down in Providence, Leach oversaw the development of some of the young players that the Black and Gold have.
Losing Leach is a blow to the Bruins and the development of the younger guys in Providence. Winning and losing in the AHL is not what playing down there is about. Yes, everyone likes to win, but the development of young players is the key for every NHL team and that’s why the P-Bruins opting into the 26-game shortened AHL season was this year was big.
In four seasons behind the Providence bench, Leach and the P-Bruins were successful, but the development of the player making contributions in Boston now is what has led to some success.
Losing assistant coaches is never easy and it was thought that with Pandolfo leaving that Leach would slide up to Boston with Cassidy. That’s not happening and now Boston has two open positions in the origination. They need to replace Pandolfo, possibly with a former player, and they need to find some to replace Leach in Providence who has been vital the last four years.