When assistant coach Geoff Ward left the Bruins last month for a head-coaching gig in Germany, Providence coach Bruce Cassidy seemed a good candidate to replace him.
He’s been an effective coach at the AHL level and has developed a number of NHL  players for Boston, most notably playing a big role in the organization’s knack for churning out NHL  defensemen. Cassidy, who has already interviewed for the position, made clear Thursday at development camp that he wants the NHL  gig.
“Do I want to be [in Boston]? I want to be in the NHL  every year,” Cassidy said with a smile. “Simple as I can say.”
Despite his hopes, Cassidy’s tone and words in a press conference following Thursday’s development camp session suggested an expectation on his part that he might be back in Providence next year.
“That’s where I am now,” Cassidy explained. “So whatever happens down the road with the vacancy here will happen, but I’m always preparing for Providence.”
Peter Chiarelli said last week that though Cassidy may be a strong candidate, the team needs to weigh whether he is more valuable on the NHL  staff or keeping the Providence-Boston pipeline strong.
“Claude and I have spoken with him and we have to decide that,” Chiarelli said last week. “We’ve got probably four or five other names and Claude is meeting with some of them over development camp. Bruce has been very instrumental in these young kids coming up and playing, so we have to decide that. I almost feel like he is part of our staff right now, there is so much interaction between Don Sweeney and him or myself and him and even Claude talks to him.
“Sometimes that position’s more valuable in certain instances than an assistant coaching position. Both are quite valuable and I just feel strongly about Bruce and I have had that discussion with him so we’ll see where that one goes but I know Claude has already talked to him and has had a good interview with him.”