Former Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said Thursday he wanted to return to the team before being fired earlier this week.

Now one of the top coaches available on the market after six straight playoff appearances with Boston, Cassidy said he's looking to get back behind a bench "as soon as possible." He added he has already spoken to a number of teams with head coaching vacancies. 

The 57-year-old was non-committal when asked if he got a "raw deal" being fired the Bruins after falling to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 of the first round this year's playoffs after a 51-26-5 regular season.

"Well, I had term on my deal and I wanted to come back and coach the Bruins," Cassidy said. "It's been a privilege and an honor.

"Raw deal? I don't know about that. I feel I did my job. We can always get better. We can always be better."

Cassidy posted a 245-108-46 record while making the playoffs in all six of his seasons with the Bruins. The team reached the Stanley Cup Final under Cassidy in 2019, falling to the St. Louis Blues. He said Thursday the Game 7 loss to the Blues still bothers him "to this day."

His hiring by the Bruins in 2016 marked Cassidy's first head coaching gig since spending just under two seasons as head coach of the Washington Capitals 2002-2004.

He won the Jack Adams Award with Boston in 2020.