(Boston.CBSlocal.com) – “For me, I didn’t have the best relationship with Claude, but that comes with time. Obviously now, [Bruce Cassidy] is our coach. I have a real good relationship with him, having had him last year for a year. Obviously Claude had his guys and he trusted his guys that he’s had for a while, which is something that you can understand, especially … he’s got a good relationship with them. At the end of the day, I didn’t have the best relationship with him, but I think he liked me as a player and I liked playing for him while he was here.” – Frank Vatrano, today on 98.5 The Sports Hub
First it was Ryan Spooner, now it’s Frank Vatrano. Both young players freely speaking their mind about their former coach. Before grumpy “get off my lawn” people get on Vatrano for his comments, he was being asked what he thought of Spooner’s sentiments before voicing his own. And he was fair in what he said. It wasn’t like #72 ran around looking for a mic to grab.
But it’s become pretty clear the 2016-2017 Claude led Bruins locker room was not on the same page. Young guys felt like they weren’t given a fair shake, or at least enough of an opportunity, and that Claude only went to “his guys”. Look no further than the over working of Tuukka Rask as a prime example of a coach fighting for his job. The players aren’t wrong in feeling they way they do, but Claude certainly had plenty of less than stellar examples of player performance to give him an excuse to lean on his vets.
Like Spooner, I don’t mind Vatrano’s comments. It’s nice to hear players say what they really feel. The honesty is refreshing. And Vatrano even made a point to say that he felt Claude did like him as a player, and he liked playing for him too. But at the end of the day this stuff does need to stop. Claude is gone. And we all get it, the team tuned him out. But now it’s Bruce Cassidy’s club to coach. At least publicly, let the past issues die like they should.
I’m not sure if management or veterans now have to tell the team behind closed doors to stop talking about another teams coach or not. I think everyone would prefer the focus remain on the current playoff race the Bruins are waist deep in. This second Claude assessment by a former player in less than a week, harmless or not, may be enough for some one to request a gag order. Because the time has come where everyone needs to let it go and move on. We’ve got some Canadiens we need to catch.
Follow us on Twitter @BostonPucks and let’s talk hockey.