By: Jeremy Perrigo
Monday afternoon the Bruins announced the hiring of former defenseman and Providence College Alumni Jay Leach as Head Coach of the Providence Bruins, the club's AHL affiliate.
Leach's professional career saw him bounce between the ECHL, AHL and NHL where he played for five separate organizations; Boston, Tampa Bay, New Jersey, Montreal and San Jose. He spent the majority of his career in the AHL with affiliates in Providence, Hamilton, Norfolk, Portland, Lowell, Worcester and Albany, amassing 86 points in 467 games.
In 2015 Leach was appointed assistant coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to Head Coach Mike Sullivan. Leach then served a stint as Interim Head Coach in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before eventually making his way to Providence.
At the beginning of the 2016-2017 season Leach was brought on as an Assistant Bench Boss for the Providence Bruins. He would help lead the baby B's to a 96-point season where they would eventually be eliminated in the third round of the Calder Cup Playoffs by Jay's home-town team the Syracuse Crunch.
Spencer Carbery will join the team as an Assistant Coach and Mike Dunham will also come on in the important role of Goaltender Development Coach to work with B's prospects Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre.
Leach only had three points in his 70 career NHL games, however, in those games he amassed 60 penalty minutes. This appointment appears to be yet another move by the Bruins to maintain that gritty, classic, big bad Bruins personality that has become a signature of past black and gold rosters.
While the game becomes faster with each passing season, there is still place in the modern NHL for hard-hitting teams that aren't afraid to drop the gloves. With this hiring it is clear that the Bruins desire to cultivate this type of hard-nosed style at the very foundations of the organization.
Take a look at a 2011 fight featuring the new man in charge of the Providence Bruins in a showdown with notorious tough guy Matt Martin:
Oh, and did I mention his wife just happens to be NBC's own Kathryn Tappen?