Former Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien Named Montreal Canadiens Head Coach
It didn’t take long for Claude Julien to find a new job. After the Boston Bruins let go their long-time head coach, the Montreal Canadiens decided it was time for a change of their own. The Habs fired head coach Michel Therrien on Tuesday, making way for Julien to step in as their new coach.
The Canadiens released a statement on the matter Tuesday:
“I would like to sincerely thank Michel for his relentless work with the Montreal Canadiens over his eight seasons behind the bench, including the last five seasons when we worked together. The decision to remove Michel from his coaching duties was a difficult one because I have lots of respect for him. I came to the conclusion that our team needed a new energy, a new voice, a new direction. Claude Julien is an experienced and well respected coach with a good knowledge of the Montreal market. Claude has been very successful as an NHL coach and he won the Stanley Cup. Today we hired the best available coach, and one of the league’s best. I am convinced that he has the capabilities to get our team back on the winning track,”
– Canadiens general manager, Marc Bergevin.
Second Run in Montreal
This isn’t Julien’s first opportunity with the Canadiens, however. Now 56 years old, Julien was the head coach in Montreal from January 2003 until January 2006, compiling a 72-62-10-15 record. Following his time in Montreal, Julien had a successful season in New Jersey before being hired as the head coach of the Bruins.
While coaching in Boson, Julien compiled a 538-332-127 record over 10 seasons. He became the winningest coach in Bruins history in 2016 and led the team to two Stanley Cup berths in 2011 and 2013. The Bruins cup win in 2011 was the first for the franchise since the 1971-72 season and was one of the many defining moments of Julien’s tenure in Boston.
It’s clear that the Montreal Canadiens saw the talent on the market and snagged it quickly. With the team struggling as of late, Julien has an opportunity to keep the team atop the Atlantic Division with a different system to the one Therrien employed.
Bruins fans will forever remember Julien fondly. Regardless of the few seasons resulting in missed playoff runs, his contributions to the team and the city will never go unnoticed. It’s a shame that things ended the way they did for Julien in a city he called his home for over 10 years, but hockey is a business. As it stands, Julien did what was best for him and his family – even if it’s to the chagrin of the Boston faithful who once called him “coach.”