Underlying Reasons the Bruins did Away with Julien
This past week has been quite a ride in the NHL. The Boston Bruins have fired head coach Claude Julien, and the Montreal Canadiens quickly followed suit firing their head coach Michel Therrien as well.
Julien has been with the Bruins for over ten years and led them to a Stanley Cup win in 2011 and back to the Finals in 2013 where they ultimately lost to the Blackhawks in six games. He was almost at the 1,000 game milestone of his coaching career before he was fired, hitting 997 games beforehand. Another little known fact was that in his contract there was a clause that would have given him another year extension if he coached 57 or more games this season, and the Bruins organization let him go at 55 games. On top of these two milestones that were almost reached, he was also fired on the day of the Patriots Super Bowl parade. These seemed like a great opportunity to cause some negativity in the Boston fan base, while they were distracted with the celebration of yet another championship.
The Bruins replaced Julien with Bruce Cassidy, who was formerly the assistant coach for the team, but has been with the Bruins organization since 2008 with their AHL affiliate in Providence. Cassidy was the assistant coach of the Providence Bruins from 2008-2012 and took over the head coaching position from the 2012-13 season to the 2015-16 season.
So far with Cassidy as head coach, the team has kicked it up a notch, but it is not quite clear whether or not Cassidy is the reason why. There were many players under Julien that still have great respect for the coach and seemingly do not agree with the Bruins’ decision to get rid of him.
The Canadiens, on the other hand, replaced Therrien with Julien.
This was surprising for many due to the fact that they are currently the best in the division and one of the better teams in the league. The Canadiens signed Julien for the remainder of the season and also signed him to a five year contract extension worth $25 million dollars. This is Julien’s return to Montreal, as he previously coached the Habs back in the early 2000’s. Ironically enough he took over the head coaching position midway through the 2003 season when the Canadiens fired Therrien for the first time. With one of the NHL’s top three goal scorers this season in Max Pacioretty, and one of the NHL’s best defensemen in Shea Weber, Claude has found himself in great position and has a very real chance at winning another cup.