Bruins assistant Geoff Ward resigns to coach in Germany

Bruins assistant Geoff Ward resigns to coach in Germany
June 19, 2014, 9:15 am
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The Bruins have experienced little turnover in their coaching staff during the seven-year tenure for Claude Julien, but that will change this summer as one of his top assistants has left the organization. B’s assistant coach Geoff Ward, who had joined the Black and Gold along with Julien prior to the 2007-08 regular season, has announced his resignation to pursue a head coaching job for the Mannheim Eagles in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany.

Ward was Julien’s top assistant, and the chief architect of a much-maligned power play that improved to become No. 3 in the NHL last season after the B’s pushed Zdeno Chara in front of the net, and inserted rookie Torey Krug out to a point position in a move that electrified Boston’s special teams. No reason was given for Ward’s departure from the Bruins, but it would seem pretty clear he needed to move elsewhere after seven seasons assisting in Boston if he has any designs on becoming a head coach at the NHL level.

The only other significant change in Boston’s staff during Julien’s tenure came four years ago when Doug Jarvis replaced Craig Ramsay, who was just hired as an assistant coach by the Edmonton Oilers.

Bruins assistant coach Doug Houda has been mentioned in connection with the Vancouver Canucks head coaching search led by former B’s assistant GM Jim Benning, but it doesn’t appear he’s under serious consideration for the head gig at this point.

There is no word on an immediate replacement for Ward, but there’s some intriguing NHL names looking for work after a number of head coaches were fired at the end of the regular season. Adam Oates is a former teammate of Bruins President Cam Neely and did some remarkable things with the Washington Capitals power play last season, Peter Horachek and Julien played junior hockey together with the Oshawa Generals and John Tortorella would make a chirpy addition to any staff (note: that last one was in jest).

If the Bruins wanted to hire internally, they could do a heck of a lot worse than Providence Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, who has done a magnificent job of developing Boston's young talent in the AHL level. The NHL readiness of the B's young defensemen is a testament to the work being done with them at the minor league level.     

The Mannheim team Ward is taking over is also the German team that Dennis Seidenberg played for during the NHL lockout.