Boston Bruins: The Case For Claude Julien


The Boston Bruins finally have their general manager. With Don Sweeney‘s installment as the eighth GM in the team’s ninety-one season history, he’ll be forging his own path (with some generous help from President Cam Neely) to get the Bruins back on the winning path. Now the new GM has an awful lot of problems to solve in just a few short weeks.

The first question for the him is whether or not they’ll keep their bench boss.

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Claude Julien has been the coach of the team for the last eight seasons. With Mike Babcock’s departure to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Julien is now the most tenured active coach with a current NHL team.  He was the coach that brought back a winning tradition to Boston.  He’s been the coach that has helped turned the organization around, and he coached the team that brought the Cup to Boston in 2011.

He’s put up a few records of his own. He won the Jack Adams in 2008-09, and he leads the organization for all time playoff wins as a head coach with fifty-seven. He’s the best coach the Bruins have had in the last generation.

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  • “Like I said, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Claude,” said the new Bruins GM to Comcast New England.  “We’ll continue to have discussions. It would be foolhardy of me to make a sort of impetuous decision [on Julien’s future]. I need to make the right decision.”

    The Bruins did put up ninety-six points last season, but it wasn’t good enough for the postseason. For that transgression, Peter Chiarelli was fired and many expect Claude to follow. While Chiarelli’s firing was based on a lot of little things that led up to this year’s chaos, a lot of those things were beyond a coach’s control. One bad year in eight should not damn Julien.

    “I have some things that I want to sit down with Claude and go through in a very orderly fashion as to where I think things needs to change, and what direction we need to change as a group,” Don Sweeney on Claude Julien

    So, what’s the big reason to keep Julien around for another season? His versatility. It’s the part of his skill set that many people seem to ignore. He is always willing to mix things up to find magic, and (for the most part) it has worked for him.  The best example we have of last season is the Milan Lucic/Ryan Spooner/David Pastrnak line.

    While his defensive minded system has remained his mainstay, he’s willing to change the game plan every season to suit his team’s skill set. It helped get the Bruins at least one hundred points in four of the last eight years.

    What hurt the Bruins most was the list of injuries more than his lack of coaching or leadership. While Sweeney is willing to keep Claude Julien for now, it would be foolish to turf out the best coach we’ve had in Boston in the last forty years.

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