Claude Julien and the Bruins have come to an agreement that will make Claude Julien the head coach for the long term. General Manager Peter Chiarelli has his sights on another Stanley Cup and by keeping the core of the championship team together he believes the goal isn’t far out of reach. Julien, 52, has been an integral asset to the organization since Dave Lewis failed to bring the team into the playoffs for the last time in 2006 after breaking his 4 year contract.
Julien led his squad to their first cup since ’72 and sixth in franchise history. During his tenure as the Bruins head coach he broke the franchise record for best post-season win percentage (.571 or 36-27). Julien focused on a strong defensive strategy surrounding newly acquired Zdeno Chara five years ago and has stuck with it to this day, Chara has some of the most ice time in the NHL.
This upcoming season Claude Julien will be made to work with Tuukka Rask carrying most of the weight between the pipes with Tim Thomas gone and Anton Khudobin backing up. This might not be what most Bruins fans wanted for another championship run but with a guy like Claude making the decisions on the bench who knows what Boston can pull off. He also will be the first NHL coach of top prospect Dougie Hamilton who should provide some physical D support along with a smart offensive presence. Hamilton may be the answer to some of Boston’s power play woes because of his vision and strong slapshot. In the OHL he had most of his points on the power play so expect big things from this young stud.
If Julien can fix the power play problem instead of spending money on guys like Thomas Kaberle and Joe Corvo than we should expect to see some great things from the team. Expect Julien to be the main man for the next 5-6 years.