Following two training camp sessions and before his team took off for Quebec City to face their arch-rivals, the Montreal Canadiens in their first preseason game, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy took time with the media to share some hockey and personal memories of the former NHL city that is pushing hard to get another NHL team with the brand new Videotron Centre.
“I played out there once and I hit (former Blackhawks teammate) Denis Savard on a breakaway, so I got a helper,” said Cassidy who played 36 NHL games between 1983-1990, as a defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks .
Cassidy also remembers some not so shining moments at the old Le Colisée where the Quebec Nordiques called home from 1972-1995 as both a WHA (1972-79) and NHL (1979-95) team, before moving to Denver and becoming the Colorado Avalanche.
“I do remember that, but I also remember I was on the ice against Peter and Anton Stastny and they blew by me and scored and I don’t know why I was on the ice with those guys,” the Bruins coach said with a chuckle. “But yeah, some great memories there. Last year was my first time back there in 25 years because we played in the new arena. …very nice arena. But, I went back when I was younger, as a tourist because I live in Ottawa and drove up to see the city and it’s so beautiful.”
Not just as a coach but as a fan, Cassidy loves visiting hockey cities like Quebec and like many, is hoping the hockey-starved and loyal fans there have an NHL team to cheer for in the near future.
“I still have an appreciation for it because I’m a fan,” said Cassidy who is entering his first full year as head coach in Boston. “They had some great WHA teams there for a while too. [Marc] Tardiff and I think it was [Serge] Bernier, and Real Cloutier, one of the highest scoring lines. Then I remember the Winnipeg Jets in the WHA too. So I do enjoy it. It’s a Canadian market, and being Canadian, I’d love to see them get the opportunity to put an NHL team in there again. That’s probably a conversations for another day. You see Winnipeg has had success but we’ll see.”