WILMINGTON – Bruins general manager Don Sweeney mentioned last week that the team would be making an official hire for the Providence Bruins head coaching gig the following week.
So it shouldn’t be too long before the Bruins announce former P-Bruins assistant coach Kevin Dean as the new head coach of the AHL affiliate in Providence, according to one league source. Dean will be given a promotion to fill the vacancy left by new Boston assistant coach Bruce Cassidy. It’s well deserved after Dean spent parts of six seasons as head coach in the ECHL and the last five seasons served as an assistant coach in Providence.
The writing appeared to be on the wall for Dean’s promotion when he spoke with the Bruins media following one of the development camp sessions last week, and gave some very well-articulated, smart and candidly honest answers about the B’s prospects. While it’s clear Dean was the most appropriate choice given his knowledge of Bruins personnel, he also carries a strong reputation as a natural teacher that greatly helped the B’s organization develop young defensemen like Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski, Kevan Miller and Adam McQuaid over the last six plus seasons.
“He’s more than qualified, and players will love him and play hard for him,” said one former Providence Bruins player to CSN about Dean. “He didn’t ever get the credit, but he worked with the ‘D’ personally over the last four years. He’s unreal teaching you the little things.”
The 47-year-old Wisconsin native is a distinguished UNH alumni, and played 331 NHL games over parts of seven seasons with the New Jersey Devils, Atlanta Thrashers, Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks prior to his retirement from pro hockey following the 2001-02 NHL season. Dean was hired in Providence prior to the 2011-12 season, and has been a staple on the AHL staff under Cassidy since that point in time.