Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Boston Bruins

Bruins News

Providence Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy Development Camp Transcript

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
On his initial thoughts of David Pastrnak…

Well he’s fast. He plays at a very high rate of speed, great one on one ability and body control, really high-end skilled player. It’s hard to evaluate his overall game obviously when you just watch a lot of one on one drills but you can see why he’s a high pick, high-end skill.

On what he sees from Malcolm in Providence…
Well yeah, clearly he’s an NHL prospect. To sum it up quickly, he had a good year last year and got better form start to finish. Again, I don’t like to speculate on how it will all turn out come October first when they get to their numbers,HEY   but I’m assuming he’s with us. He’s going to have the opportunity to be the guy for us and hopefully he takes the ball and runs with it. And you know, you’re never quite sure how that will play out. I assume a year pro under his belt he will be better off for it, a little more prepared out of the gate. I think last year there was a lot of newness for him. But he is a guy, I would assume, down the road he will be competing for a goaltending spot here. How far down the road is always hard to project but he is very athletic, has all the, you know, that part of it is there. It’s just getting the technical side, being consistent every night and it’ll be the challenge for him to play up here on a regular basis.

On Niklas Svedberg backing up Tuukka…

Well you know, there is always a lot that goes into those decisions. But for me as a coach in Providence, two years, two solid years, to come in the first year an unknown commodity and had a terrific year and we played well in front of him. Last year was a little more up and down, I think there was some disappointment when he left here out of training camp and that affected the start of the year but he got better as the year went on as well. He’s had two solid years, is that enough? I don’t know. Until he gets in there and plays on a regular basis I can't tell you. But the game he played up here against Nashville, he played well, made some saves, so hopefully that is a confidence booster for him and he kind of takes off from there.

On if David Pastrnak wont be NHL ready for a few years…
Yeah, he’s 18 right? So I don’t know, I’d say he’s 175 [pounds] maybe, so that part of the game is always worrisome when you’re that young. You’re playing against men, violent, angry men a lot of nights. I don’t know what the plan is for him, he’s a right shot, I hear a lot of talk about that, that’s an area of need so he’s got that going for him as well. But again, I don’t know what the plan is or how he fits in this year but right now he sure looks good in terms of skill.

On Robbie O’Gara’s progression…
I think the best part of his game that has gotten better is his ability to move the puck. I think when you first saw him, when I first saw him, big guy, you’re assuming stay at home defensive defenseman. He has a good stick, always had good lateral feed from day one and now you see a guy that can make plays with the puck as well below the goal line, breaking it out in the neutral zone. So more of a complete package than maybe you thought at first. I don’t get a chance to see him in school so I just go by what I hear and I hear his development has been really good there. So he might be one of those guys that you find a bit of a diamond in the rough in the later rounds because he sure looks the part right now. So it will be interesting to see when he does turn pro how quickly he can go through the process to get to be a Bruin.

On Matt Benning’s process of getting to the NHL…
Well his is – the physical part of it is – it’s amazing. These kids come through the door and don’t understand the training aspect of it. I think that’s why these camps are so invaluable for that part of it - nutrition, how to train, you know, they do a few other things like I think the social media part of it is great. But for him specifically you can see the difference in his body. Even when he first got here, he had some, you know, some acumen with the puck but now he’s physical, able to sustain it longer. And another guy, again, a little later pick you look at there, and he can see the ice and make plays. For him, as a physical tool, is going to be there to compete as he gets further along.

On if he can tell if someone needs more time or if someone is intelligent…
Well I think camp’s geared that way. As they go forward, they’ll do a team bonding session so you’ll see some of the mental aspect there. And even at practices, who’s going to fight through it and try to keep going at a high pace because we’re not here – they’re not making the team in July. So you are looking for some of that stuff, they probably have no idea, they’re just young and full of life so they just go out there and work hard. But I look at some of that. But more so at the guys that are, for selfish reasons, that are maybe going to pass through Providence sooner rather than later. Because like most of them that end up going from one level to the next, there’s an adjustment period in terms of, ‘well the other guys are better around me so it’s not as easy as it was’. So some of them have to get in line so to speak and they don’t like that, they want to play right away and play a lot. But this year, we don’t have as many that are going to come right to us or get assigned to us if they're not here. In years past, it seemed like there were more. Especially last year, [Alexander] Khokhlachev, [Seth] Griffith, [Anthony] Camara, there’s a lot of young guys that ended up with us. This year, I believe they’re all at development camp this year, I don’t think there’s as many.

On how close Alexander Khokhlachev is to becoming a Boston Bruin…
Well I think he’s close. The question with him that comes up is, can he separate on the ice? Does he have the foot speed to separate? He’s got to develop more physically but he gets all his goals going to the net. If he had 21 last year, and then a bundle in the – I want to say nine in the playoffs- so if that’s 30, I’d bet around 25 of them are around the blue paint and the crease. So you think, sometimes, of a European player, well it’s more of the flash and the skippity, this guy is – he gets to the net. Gets in, gets out and survives. So obviously that will be a challenge at the pro level, getting to the net against the [Zdeno] Chara’s and [Dennis] Seidenberg’s of the world as opposed to the guys in the American League, a little more of a challenge. But he’s got the competitive drive to do it and the nose and the instincts. Then it comes down to, well can he play the wing? We tried him there so those are all questions that have to sort themselves out but I think he’s close. I think generally the Bruins have had a pattern. They let their guys, you know, when they’re ready type of thing and I think he’ll push at training camp. How that plays out, that will be an interesting one to watch.

On if things change for him at camp this year since not many guys are ready to turn pro…
Well, like I said earlier, I don’t – last year I, for selfish reasons, I’m watching the guys that I'm going to get a little closer so they have a bit of a head start in September. But no, we still structure practice the same no matter what and how the week is going to play out with Donnie [Sweeney]. But like I said, when I leave here on Monday, last year I probably had a few more things going through my head of, ‘okay how’s this going to go, where is he going to fit in the lineup’, whereas this year, you probably don’t have that element.

On the Bruins goaltending depth and watching the goaltender’s development from year to year…
Well I think it was an issue not that long ago, it was talked about. And then [Niklas] Svedberg got signed and Malcolm [Subban] got drafted. Zane [Gothberg] kind of had a real break out year and now all of a sudden it’s an area of strength in terms of depth for young guys. And Tuukka [Rask] getting locked in and him winning the Vezina. So clearly it’s a good problem to have, a lot of good goaltenders in your system. You can only play one at a time, you can only have two on your roster generally. But there is always room to grow down in Providence and we saw that last year with the two young kids. And I'm not sure what Zane [Gothberg] – he’s going into his senior year right? Junior, so there you go, he’s – if he has another year like last year, then wow you got a lot of pretty good young goaltenders under your roof. And then again, what happens from there, well that’s outside my pay grade. I just hope I end up with two good ones, whoever they are.

On if he wants to be in the NHL this year…
Do I want to be? I want to be in the NHL every year. Simple as I can say.

On if it has been determined that he is going to Providence…
Well that’s where I am now. So whatever happens down the road with the vacancy here will happen. But I'm always preparing for Providence. You know, if something else changes, well give me a call and I’ll talk to you about it.

On how important his role is in providence…
Well I think when the salary cap came in and the free agency became a tougher process to build success on, I think every team would love their players to come from grown in house for a number of different reasons. We play the same system so they're coming right in to it, they just have to play, they don’t have to think a whole lot. The contracts, I don’t understand all of it, but clearly if you're developing your own prospects, I’m sure you’re not overpaying, you know, there is a set structure there. So I think every GM would tell you that it is important that you get players coming through Providence and I take a lot of pride in it. I think we’ve done a good job down there over the last few years, but again, that is what we get paid to do. So I’m not sure if I answered your question but you know, it always starts with – you have to draft good players. You have to have guys to work with and then you have to you know, find what makes them tick. Some kids come in there and they are scorers, they’re not necessarily going to do that in Boston so you have to find another way for them to fit into Boston but still enjoy playing the game and play to their strengths. Again, that happens every year for us, a new set of guys and hopefully we have some more coming. I don’t think we have as many this year, last year I think we had 10 rookies. We were playing in the playoffs in late May and we had eight, nine, 10 first year players in our lineup. So I was proud of the guys, that’s not easy to do for them too. And you see guys like [Alexander] Khokhlachev and [Seth] Griffith, they were leading the playoffs in scoring so we found a couple of good ones there.

On how he manages the players’ patience as they’re almost ready for the NHL…
Well David’s [Warsofsky] has put in three years so clearly he feels that he’s a guy that is ready to contribute and I don’t disagree. You can only have so many young defenders in your lineup and it is a tough lineup to crack. It’s a team that was one game removed from the Stanley Cup Championship two years ago, they won four years ago, it’s a good lineup. And they’ve put some young kids in there. So that’s sometimes the luck of the draw in your career. Sometimes the path to get there is a little easier than other places and then when you get there it’s harder to stay and vice versa. [Zach] Trotman on the other hand, I think he understands that his development is going on schedule and Joe [Morrow] I’d put in that mix. They’ve played two full years pro and they’re going to have to beat someone out of a job, as would David [Warsofsky]. Like I said, there’s eight NHL defenseman here so it’s a good problem to have for Claude [Julien] and Peter [Chiarelli]. You know, we’ll get who we get and if they’re down with us then we’ll try to get them up to speed where next year they can beat someone out of a job. It’s the circle of life right? I mean, your young guys take the jobs and helps your salary cap, etc., etc. And if they end up with us then that will be our goal – they’re going to be treated maybe a little differently than maybe a first year guy coming in. They know they’re close so we’ve got to get a little more goal specific, visual goal specific with them, teaching and coaching. As opposed to maybe Chris Casto who came in last year just trying to find his way in the League. And there is a name you might be talking about right here next year because he had a terrific second half and is another young defenseman that’s got some good upsides.

On if he was surprised at how seamlessly Kevan Miller fit in to the NHL…

I’m not surprised and I'm not saying that to be oh like we knew it would happen because you never know. But Kevan [Millar] was a guy who came in a different animal. He came in, he was a little bit older when he turned pro and he had a very defined goal for himself and he stuck to it and he knew in his mind that he was going to, at some point, challenge and play in the NHL. And I know you could say well, a lot of guys are that way, but no. His focus was more so than normal and he knew what it took that when he got up here he would have to play hard. I saw it his first NHL training camp, I think the first year he only came to our camp, may be mistaken. The next year he’s battling Looch [Milan Lucic] one on one and he’s cross checking him and knocking him on his ass and there was a respect factor, but no fear factor. And that’s Kevan [Miller] whereas opposed to some of the other younger guys might be a little more unsure of that situation. He took control of it and I think he opened people’s eyes and then he grew from there. Last year at camp when he had a good camp, had his chance to play an exhibition game then he got into his first NHL game. He’s one of those guys who says, you know what, I’m going kicking and screaming. And good for him, like I said, he did it the hard way. He was a little bit older when he came out so he didn’t have maybe the same growth period of time where maybe they were going to wait as opposed to some of the younger guys.

On if he has anything to add about Ryan Fitzgerald or Ryan Donato…

I think half the guys here are from Massachusetts or Sweden, it’s one of the other. Ryan Fitzgerald is a very crafty player, you can see it. He’s a guy that wants the puck and will make plays. It would be nice to see him play in game situations where there’s a little more going on and how he can draw people to him. [Ryan] Donato is a little taller, two days is tough because he’s so much younger. But they are clearly both good hockey players and come from good bloodlines. And I’m sure when it is their time they’ll push here and add some good skill down the middle. But again, no, I haven’t watched them probably as closely as maybe some of you guys have.

On European school of hockey versus North American school of hockey…
You know, that is a discussion we could probably sit here for the next three hours and go over, to be honest with you. But I think the game is becoming more centralized. I think the Canadian – or North American, I’ll say Canadian because I’m a Canuck. The North American game has gone more towards a European game with puck possession, the way the lineups are filled out and I think the European game has moved a little bit towards the North American style. These Swedes come over here and they’re gritty. You know, they’re hard on the puck, they’re hard to get the puck from, they compete for it. Whereas maybe years ago you wouldn’t have said that about them. So I see the game moving more to middle on each side.
View More