BOSTON- "A really tough day overall, but I had to make a decision that I felt was in the best interest where our team was at now and moving forward." said Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney when addressing the media Tuesday morning at Warrior Ice Arena.
Below are some key takeaways from Tuesday's press conference:
Don Sweeney began his press conference by stating that his decision did not come easy. "I'll start briefly by stating that it was a very, very difficult decision yesterday."
Sweeney went on to recognize Cassidy and his family for the years they have given to the organization. "I want to thank him and his family, Julie, Cole and Shannon, for what they've really done, both on and off the ice for the Boston Bruins organization."
When questioned on why he felt this was the right decision, Sweeney put emphasis on the benefits of having a new voice. "I just felt the messaging and the voice that was going to be required - I felt we needed a new direction."
When asked about the reaction from Bruins fans, he acknowledged the disappointment. "It's not a comfortable position to be in when you've got a popular coach both publicly and with the amount of success he's had, it's going to be an unpopular decision, it's not going to resonate," said Sweeney. "It didn't sit well with me, very difficult decision as I referenced both personally and professionally."
The search will begin immediately for a new head coach of the Boston Bruins. Sweeney noted he has a list of potential candidates, but will take his time conducting such an important search. When asked if he has anyone particular in mind, or if he is looking for prior NHL experience, Sweeney stated that he did not have clear prerequisites. "I'm going to be open-minded," said Sweeney, noting that he has confidence in the group as a whole to keep the team in the right direction. "We've got an experienced group of guys that want to win, know how to win, and a young group of guys as the next core," said Sweeney. "Now, the coach needs to direct that ship and be able to communicate effectively across all those age groups. And that's certainly why I want to make sure I cast the net wide enough."
Some things will not change, with Sweeney noting that the Bruins will remain very process-driven with a focus on holding themselves to the standard of "best in class". "I'm still going to be a process-driven and a structure guy. We've been an upper echelon power play and penalty killing team, and I think that needs to remain."
Video: Bruins GM Don Sweeney talks with the media