Coach Bruce Cassidy and the Boston Bruins had the best record in the NHL when the season was halted by the coronavirus pandemic. Now they head to the bubble in Toronto for a Stanley Cup playoff like no other. Charles Krupa/Associated Press

BOSTON — Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy has been placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.

Cassidy is the first Bruins player or coach to be added to the protocol this season and will miss Boston’s game Tuesday night against Detroit. General Manager Don Sweeney told reporters after the Bruins’ morning skate that Cassidy has mild symptoms.

According to NHL rules on positive COVID tests for this season, it means Cassidy must isolate from the team for at least 10 days and get a doctor’s approval to return. Assistant coach Joe Sacco is taking over head coaching duties during Cassidy’s absence for the Bruins, who have won five of their last seven.

The Bruins visit Nashville on Thursday and return home to host Tampa Bay on Saturday.

In St. Louis, Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said forward Tyler Bozak had been placed in COVID-19 protocol. Bozak, 35, has has one goal and six assists in 21 games this season.

The NHL has postponed five games so far this season – three for Ottawa and two for the New York Islanders – but the league has not seen widespread disruption of its schedule unlike last season.

THE AGENT FOR Jake DeBrusk has asked the Bruins for a trade after being DeBrusk was benched for Sunday’s win over the Vancouver Canucks, according to reports.

DeBrusk had 16 goals and 27 assists as a rookie in 2017-18 and followed that with 42 points in 2018-19 and 35 in 2019-20 as he settled in as a fixture on the team’s second line alongside David Krejci. His game seemed to suffer during the pandemic. He has three goals and three assists through 17 games this year.

Cassidy has attempted to prod him at times and nurture him at others while moving him up and down in the lineup. But inconsistent effort and production earned him another healthy scratch Sunday. Cassidy said when DeBrusk isn’t scoring, the rest of his game tends to fall off.

“I think what happens with Jake and what we’ve seen over the last few years is, like when the production is there you’re getting more second effort, they kind of go hand in hand,” Cassidy said Sunday. “When it’s not there, we lose a little bit of that. That’s been the ask of him for a number of years now – no drop off on this side of the ledger just because the production isn’t there.”


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