Bruce Cassidy was surprised by his dismissal, he said, after Don Sweeney told him he was coming back

He said it was a surprise when Sweeney called to meet on Monday at coach Winchester’s home and found out his work here was done.

Bruce Cassidy, seen here during a 2017 press conference with Don Sweeney, appeared surprised on Thursday when he spoke about his firing.Boston Globe / Globe by piece

“I was under the assumption and getting ready for it,” Cassidy said. “But at the end of the day, you’re always around the clock as a coach. So that surprised me a bit.

“Explain his procedures…and again, I respect what he has to do as general manager.”

Cassidy noted that Sweeney was very respectful in introducing the pink slip, which he still hopes to quickly replace with a new contract elsewhere in the original 32.

“I want to be the coach for the Boston Bruins,” Cassidy said. “But again, here we go… I’m on to the next challenge and I hope to be successful.”

Six clubs – Detroit, Dallas, Chicago, Winnipeg, Philadelphia and Vegas – are interviewing their next coach. Florida and possibly San Jose (no new GM yet to be named) could consider a change.

A number of these clubs have already been in contact with Cassidy’s agent, François Giguire, and Cassidy has admitted he has spoken to a few teams.

It’s also possible that other clubs, who were not on the registry to seek a coaching change, will kick the tires at Cassidy, who delivered 245-108-46 (.672) in 399 regular season games behind the Black- and Gold seat.

Cassidy thanked a long list of people, especially Bruins players, for the opportunity spanning 14 years, dating back to joining the organization when then-general manager Peter Chiarelli appointed him as assistant coach at AHL Providence.

“First, I would like to thank the city of Boston – and Bruins fans for all their support over the years,” he said, reading from a statement at the start of the session. “It has been a privilege and an honor to lead the Original Six franchise here.”

What’s next for Bruce Cassidy?John Tlumaki / Globe Staff

Cassidy went on to thank the owners (the Jacobs family), team boss Cam Neely and Sweeney for their trust in him.

“And to all the players… the staff, the medical team, the equipment managers… they’ve been fantastic to me, it’s great to work with, and I appreciate everything they’ve done for the team. But mostly, it’s the players – who play and define your destiny. I can’t thank them enough. For everything they’ve done, every player has worn the logo over the years.”

Cassidy also addressed Sweeney’s comments that it was time to move on, in part because of the nature and tone of the coach’s messages.

“In the next challenge, I’ll make sure I’m aware of the messages,” said the earnest Cassidy. “Because I respect Donny when he talks to me about what you need to do to be better. He’s been in the game for a long time.

“So that’s something I have to take with me to the next job…but still, push the responsibility home, because I don’t think you have much of a team if players aren’t held accountable to standards.”

Cassidy defended his record in player development, noting that some of them started working in Providence.

“To be completely honest, I am very proud of the work I have done,” he said. “When I came on the plane [in Boston]We changed a lot of players – we infused our team with a lot of young players: Jake Debrosk, Anders Björk, Danton Heinen. [David Pastrnak] was still young, [Matt] gerzelec, [Brandon] Carlo, [Charlie McAvoy]. A lot of these guys have stuck around and gotten really great jobs.”

He later added to the list with Trent Frederick and Jack Studnica (“Knock on the Door Now”).

“We’ll see how that will be implemented down the road for the next coach,” he said. “And how much availability is on the list for him. But [Jakub] Zboril was turning the corner, Jeremy Luzon [now in Nashville] Really good job for us. we see [Jeremy] Swayman Develop.

“Like I said, I am very proud of my record with the youth.”

Cassidy has said several times that he would like to get a job for next season. Detroit, Dallas, and maybe Vegas seem to fit in well.

Asked if he was about to be hired by a particular team, he said, “Maybe they know that better than I do. They’re the ones doing the hiring.”

“Like I said, I want to get back to work – hopefully for the best. That’s not always the case, but it’s what I hope, for both sides, and we’ll see where you get.”


Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at kevin.dupont@globe.com.

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