Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Veteran Clapped Back At Bruce Cassidy On The Bench Last Season In Support Of Michael Amadio

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When Bruce Cassidy was let go as head coach of the Boston Bruins, one of the biggest critiques of his coaching style was how harsh he was on players. There were many stories from Bruins, especially younger players, that they never felt they could please the coach.

In Vegas, it’s not hard to get a sense of where that criticism comes from. Cassidy’s blunt honesty with the media can come across as a bit harsh when directed at a specific player. And, if he’s saying it publicly, there’s a pretty good chance he’s telling them directly too.

There have been multiple examples of Cassidy asking for more consistency out of Paul Cotter, he’s mentioned Phil Kessel’s defensive shortcomings in more than one press conference, and then there was the notorious “Plan E” comment about Michael Amadio getting the place on a line with Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson.

Obviously, Cassidy’s straightforward approach has resonated with the Golden Knights as it led to each and every one of them seeing their names engraved on the Stanley Cup.

A story shared by Gary Lawless on the VGK Radio Network during the 2nd period of Tuesday night’s game is a strong example of why.

We’ve heard players tell stories about how Bruce would be chirping at Michael (Amadio) on the bench in the beginning of the season and finally, one of the veterans turned around to him and said ‘Hey, leave him alone. Pick on me, pick on somebody else.’ Bruce said afterward, ‘You know maybe they think I’m going to be mad because they yelled back at me. No. It shows they’re a team, they are looking after one of the younger guys. I like that. It lets me know they are coming together.’ -Lawless on VGK Radio Network

It’s an interesting glimpse into not only Cassidy’s coaching style, but also the togetherness of the Golden Knights as a team. No matter how established you are in the league, clapping back at a coach in defense of a young player bouncing in and out of the lineup is a gutsy move.

There’s always a debate over what comes first, team chemistry or winning. Obviously, after winning the Stanley Cup together, chemistry in the Golden Knights locker room is at an all-time high. However, this story of a veteran sticking up for Amadio shows that bond goes back long before they won their 16th playoff game.

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  1. Skillby

    Who is your guess as to who it was? Stoney?

  2. Time for Team A to get back on track – who would have thought that Vancouver would be tied with Vegas in the top spot. I am sure the players don’t need a reminder of that but maybe a needle or two wouldn’t hurt. Cassidy is what this team needed whatever is coaching style is purported to be and his motives behind what he does. It obviously worked as shown by the Stanley Cup here in Vegas. Tonight is time to get back on the winning horse and make this road trip a success. Go Knights Go

  3. Kevin

    Coaching isn’t easy and not for everyone. You have to know your audience. Some people have thicker skin than others. You just have to take into account who you are coaching and which processes work with them and how/what they can absorb. Some people just want to hear 100% truth, some you have to approach it with “what do you think you can do better” and let it be more of their idea.

    Managers have to do more than just “get ’em next time”. You can’t be their best friend, and yet you have to push constantly toward getting them to your expectations. Just as true in business and parenting as it is in sports.

    Having a good style for the team you’re running is what sets up greatness for the coaches and the team. Boston didn’t absorb his style well, but VGK has taken to it well.

  4. I have a comment about Amadio as well… I thought he should ALWAYS be the odd man out.. well ALWAYS after Kessel lol.. but.. I couldn’t have been proven more wrong…he plays the game right and hard.. digs in the corners.. and has been even more of a pleasant surprise at center!!

    • Slr82

      Ummm Amadio is a Center. He’s been playing the wing. Of course he’s going to excel as a Center.

  5. Richie-Rich

    I am not alarmed at all. For all intents and purposes the last game was a 1-0 loss with the Caps goaltender standing on his head to stop numerous breakaways and high danger chances.

    I believe that the FO wanted a Coach who would hold the team and individual players accountable for production. That’s what Cassidy has done. The foundation of the Stanley Cup Championship was Bruce Cassidy and his system. It worked.

    The Pacific competition has improved the past two years. Every team with the exception of San Jose and Arizona has improved significantly. Calgary remains an enigma. I fully expect both the Kings and Canucks to challenge our Knights for the Division Title throughout the year. Anaheim isn’t too far behind.

    Has Cotter had a session with Player Safety yet?

    • TS

      Rr, Yup. Remember Paccioretti’s parting comments, saying Vegas had a country club mentality? He may have been spot on, and Mgmt recognized it, and searched for a tough, disciplined coach, as you said.

      • JJ

        Great recall, TS. And great point Richie. I could definitely see that point on the FO wanting to get a guy that pushes them harder and holds them accountable. I liked DeBoer’s message and he was extremely respectable, just didn’t have the system. I think the Gallant firing happened too fast, but seeing how it went down in NY… maybe could’ve been the same case about being a good voice but not having the system for the team. We’ll never know!

      • Steve Miller

        Exactly why Paccioretti was traded. He was soft, part of the “country club mentality” and had to go. Often injured and was again in Carolina. Vegas Management brought in another great coach with player accountability and defensive mindset. Vegas had the talent just needed the system and push to get to the top. The team fully bought in and won it all.

  6. TS

    Wonder if Cassidy took a few Psych classes in college? He does have a straight forward style, no BULL
    . And he seems to have a real grasp on just how to mentally motivate players to be their best. He is a proven Champ, so I applaud him for how he motivates players.
    His own kids have said he’s a relaxed SOFTIE at home, NOT like he coaches. Coach is all business when he NEEDS to be. He’s a KEEPER!

  7. Last night was bad for VGK… Oilers had a team boosting and morale lifting win unfortunately and look like they may be starting to turn the corner.

  8. Tim

    Will tonight be another snoozer one goal in in the last 120 minutes of hockey. If they have a good goalie were done. Montreal to go to the finals we by far had the better team but Carey Price stuck it to us just like the year before when Dallas goalie completely shut us down. We don’t have enough firepower when we face a good goalie but we have a Cup so I really don’t care now that we made it to the top of the mountain.

  9. Jailbird

    Once again I say: We haven’t had our full lineup yet! When 100% healthy we are as good, or better, as any team in the league. I think we will play well tonight. And continue to look forward to when we have all our normal starters back, at the same time!

    • vegazzchik

      We are already losing 2-0 in the first period.

    • Mike Summerhays

      Need Stevie and his speed. He kicks our whole team speed to another level. They look slow when he’s not in there

  10. Pistol Pete

    Today’s lineup:

    Roy is back.




  11. THE hockey GOD

    Amadio is one of the hardest working players, he’s often on the ice first or close to it during practices, and often one of the last to leave the ice.

    He’s obviously ahead of 16 and 43 on the seniority list.

    The team still hasn’t found a replacement for Smtih, Barby was the one the team picked up in salary in order to keep him, they had to let Smith go. Some people say MArchy should have been the one. I say Hill should have won the Con Symth.

    Anyone who takes patches comments seriously , needs a complete psycho examination. His comments were strictly sour grapes knowing fully well he lost all chance to win a SC with a team that actually had a shot.

    Meanwhile sloJoe needs cheat sheets when in front of press that tell him not only who to call on, but shows what answers he should give. Blinkin, winkin, and nod the SOS gave him the evil eye more than once during the Xi meeting fallout which begs the question on who is really running the show. Who is the man behind the curtain? Oz? Clown car shows continues.

  12. Mark Brower

    Being a Bruins fan most of us really liked his style of coaching, what’s wrong with calling out players who under perform.
    He is and will be a great coach for years to come

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