Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy was given a multiyear contract extension Wednesday. Charles Krupa/Associated Press

The Bruins locked up one of their potential free agents on Wednesday.

No, it wasn’t restricted free agents Charlie McAvoy or Brandon Carlo or even Torey Krug, who is heading into his walk year. There was precious little drama involved in this one signing, but it involved someone as important as any player.

The Bruins signed Coach Bruce Cassidy, who has one year to go on his current deal, to a multi-year extension reportedly worth approximately $3 million a season, according to the Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun. The Bruins have typically gone three years with their coaching deals.

Since taking over for Claude Julien in February of 2017, Cassidy has proven his worth at every turn. He opened up the offense without sacrificing the defensive responsibility that had been the hallmark of the successful decade-long Julien era, breathing new life into a team that was no longer winning as consistently has it had in Julien’s first seven years.

The Bruins caught fire when Cassidy took over and squeaked into the playoffs. The next season under Cassidy, they won a round. And last season, Cassidy was an out-of-body-experience by Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington in Game 7 away from lifting the Stanley Cup. He owns a 117-52-22 record, good enough for a .670 winning percentage, fourth best in Bruins’ history.

Since Cassidy took over, the Bruins have amassed 256 points, second only to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

While there had been plenty of conjecture over how much of a fan team president Cam Neely was of Julien’s style, there’s little of that with Cassidy.

“Obviously the record speaks for itself, but obviously there’s the uptempo, the focus on trying to score goals. Everyone enjoys that style of play,” said Neely. “But also (it’s) the understanding you’ve got to play well defensively, you’ve got to play well in your own end, you still have to check. Those are the things I noticed right away and I thought our guys really gravitated and adapted to it and enjoyed that. Even in practices, I thought out practices were an indication of how we were going to play.”

While Cassidy was raised in the old school and there’s a lot of that still in him, he’s hardly governed by methods that may have worked when he was a player.

“I think he’s very open with communication. That’s a big part,” said Neely. “He’s got an open door policy. I think he communicates really well, not only with the veteran leadership group but also with the younger players. Today’s game, you can’t just stick someone in a hole, tell them what to do and think they’re going to do it. It takes a lot more communication.”

Taking over for a Cup winner and someone who’d been in place for 10 years has its inherent problems. Coming back the next year and proving you weren’t just the beneficiary of the new-coach syndrome could have presented others.

But last season was the most telling indicator of Bruce Cassidy’s coaching chops. The team endured a plethora of injuries from start to finish, including the nightmare scenario of Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara out for a month at the same time. No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask got off to a poor start and then had to take a short leave of absence for a personal matter. A total of 40 players wore the Bruins sweater.

Physicals are on Thursday, then on-ice sessions begin. With his personal business out of the way, Cassidy can now focus on what he does pretty darn well – coach.

NOTES: As of Wednesday afternoon, it didn’t appear that McAvoy or Carlo would be in the house for Thursday’s physicals, but Sweeney said he was grinding in hopes of getting both players signed.

“Still a work in progress. We continue to communicate every day and hopefully we can find the right landing spot for both players. Obviously, they’re important to our hockey club and we’re going to keep working at it,” said Sweeney.

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