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Cassidy signs multiyear contract extension to remain Bruins coach

Guided Boston to Stanley Cup Final last season @NHLdotcom

Bruce Cassidy, who coached the Boston Bruins to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final last season, signed a multiyear contract extension Wednesday. Financial terms were not released.

"I think it's a good marriage," Cassidy said. "I think it's worked well for both sides, so for me it's where I wanted to be. It's easy in that regard."

"I had another year on my deal, but if we were going to talk about extending it I wanted to have it done [before training camp] so you have a bit of a clearer head going into the year, you're not worried about that stuff. ... I wanted to focus on getting this team ready for [the Dallas Stars], our first game (on Oct. 3), getting back to having a successful season."

Video: Bruce Cassidy joins the show to talk extension

The 54-year-old is 117-52-22 in 191 games with the Bruins, a .670 points percentage that's fourth in their history, and reached 100 wins in 166 games; only Tom Johnson (138 games) did it faster for them. Boston has 256 points since Cassidy replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 7, 2017, second in the NHL during that span behind the Tampa Bay Lightning (283).

"It's not about people deserving things; he's earned this right to lead this club," Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said. "That doesn't just start from two years ago; it starts from a number of years ago when I got to know Bruce really well working with him. To me, those translate into a lot of the ideals that he has as a coach, and an everyday approach."

The Bruins were 49-24-9 last season, second behind the Lightning in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. Boston defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup Playoffs before losing the Cup Final to the St. Louis Blues.

Bruins president Cam Neely said he likes the way Cassidy's teams push the pace.

"The record speaks for itself, but just the up-tempo, focus on trying to score goals," Neely said. "I think everybody enjoys that style of play but also understanding that you've got to play well to finish in the League, you've got to play well in your own end, you've still got to check. Those are the things I noticed right away, and I thought our guys really gravitated and adapted to it and enjoyed that. Even in practices, I thought our practices were certainly an indication for how we were going to play."

Video: Bruce Cassidy signs extension with Bruins

Cassidy went 50-20-12 in 2017-18, his first full season, and was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year. The Bruins finished second to the Lightning in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, had the fourth-best record in the NHL, and eliminated the Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference First Round before losing to Tampa Bay in the second round.

The Bruins were 18-8-1 after Cassidy, an assistant under Julien, was promoted with 27 games remaining in the 2016-17 season. They qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2013-14 and lost to the Ottawa Senators in the first round.

Before joining Boston as an assistant prior to the start of the 2016-17 season, Cassidy coached Providence of the American Hockey League for five seasons (2011-15) after he was an assistant the previous three (2008-11).

A defenseman selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round (No. 18) of the 1983 NHL Draft, Cassidy had 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in 36 games with the Blackhawks. He retired as a player in 1996 and coached four minor league teams before being hired as coach of the Washington Capitals in 2002. Washington was 39-29-6 with eight ties and made the playoffs in 2002-03, but Cassidy was fired 28 games into the 2003-04 season after the Capitals started 8-18-1 (tie). independent correspondent Matt Kalman contributed to this report

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