NHL Rumors: Bruins interview Mike Vellucci for head coach opening

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Report: Bruins interview Penguins assistant for head coach opening originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Might the Boston Bruins actually go outside the New England area to hire their next head coach?

The Bruins have interviewed Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Mike Vellucci for their open head coach job, Joe McDonald of the Worcester Telegram & Gazzette reported Wednesday.

Vellucci boasts an impressive résumé; he served as assistant general manager and director of player development with the Hurricanes from 2014 to 2019 and also was the head coach of Carolina's AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, for two seasons, helping Charlotte win the Calder Cup (AHL championship) in 2019.

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Vellucci joined the Penguins in the summer of 2019 as the head coach and general manager of their AHL squad, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, then moved to the NHL level in 2020 to work with Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan.

The Farmington, Mich., native -- who was drafted by the Hartford Whalers in 1984 -- is one of the few Boston head coach candidates without a local connection. Rhode Island native and former Boston University head coach David Quinn recently interviewed for the Bruins job and reportedly has "emerged as a favorite," while former B's assistant Jay Leach reportedly is in the running as well.

The Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli reports that Quinn, Leach and Vellucci appear to be the three finalists for the job.

The Bruins fired head coach Bruce Cassidy on June 6, ending his six-year tenure that resulted in six playoff appearances. Cassidy landed with the Vegas Golden Knights a week later, while Boston's search for his replacement continues.