Montreal Canadiens Bring Ex-Bruins Boss Claude Julien Behind Bench
Replacing Therrien will be Julien, who was sacked one week ago by the rival Boston Bruins. He coached the Canadiens from 2000-03 before getting fired and replaced by.wait for it.Claude Julien.
The longtime National Hockey League head coach got his start with the Montreal Canadiens in 2003, spending parts of three seasons with the Habs.
The Bruins let go of Julien on February 7, the same day as the New England Patriots' Super Bowl parade.
Well Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin made Julien the proverbial "Godfather" offer.
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The Canadiens lost their next game, 4-2 at home against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, and lost 4-0 at the Bruins on Sunday, the third time they were shut out in five games.
Bergevin had to ask for permission from the Bruins to talk to Julien, and some in the public are begrudging the Boston organization for doing that, considering the hatred between the Bruins and Canadiens and the stiff competition in the playoff picture - both now and possibly in the future. In nine-plus seasons in Boston, Julien had won a Stanley Cup and reached another finals round, but he, too, was viewed by management as having produced disappointing recent results, and he was let go on the same day as the Patriots' championship parade.
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Julien returns to Montreal, where he coached from 2003-2006.
Julien was sacked last week by the Boston Bruins after he struggled to achieve consistency in Boston. Yesterday the Montreal Canadiens, a team in first place in the Atlantic division, fired their head coach Michel Therrien.
In a way, hiring Julien is the natural progression of what Bergevin began last summer. He was the Bruins' all-time coaching wins leader after putting together a 419-246-94 record with the team. This was actually Therrien's second tour of duty behind the bench in Montreal. Therrien coached the Canadiens from 2000 to 46 games into the 2002-03 season, but was sacked after an 18-19-5 record to start the season.
But as far as that Bruins-Canadiens rivalry going, the lines are clear.
"That being said, I've reached the conclusion we were at a turning point and that is why I decided to make this change in the club's best interests".
We'll find out for sure when Julien speaks for the first time about his new role in a scheduled conference call on Wednesday. While he was sacked as coach, he was still under contract with the Bruins, and with that contract comes certain restrictions, including a restraint on speaking with other teams regarding employment opportunities.
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