Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Bruins Fire Longtime Coach Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins have fired longtime head coach Claude Julien and replaced him with Assistant Coach Bruce Cassidy.

Julien had been on the hot seat for some time as the Bruins have struggled to a 26-23-6 record. Many have made note of the fact that the Bruins have been snakebitten this season. They have the NHL's worst PDO at 5-on-5 (96.7) and they are the NHL's best puck possession team with a 5-on-5 CF% of 55.8 percent.

Julien is Boston's all-time coaching wins leader with 419 career wins. He compiled a 419-246-94 record and .614 winning percentage in 759 games with the club. The Bruins advanced to the playoffs in seven of his nine seasons as head coach. Julien famously led the Bruins to a Stanley Cup Championship in 2011, a return to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013 and a Presidents' Trophy in 2014. Julien also won the Jack Adams Trophy as the league's top coach following the 2008-09 season.

Julien is 21st on the NHL's all-time coaching wins list. He is one of four coaches to be fired this season, along with Gerard Gallant, Jack Capuano and Ken Hitchcock.

Many believed that the writing was on the wall when Julien took a subtle shot at the Bruins' upper management in late January. "This is a team that needs all 20 guys going to win. We don't have enough talent to think we can get away with a mediocre game," he said.

The firing was announced and GM Don Sweeney's press conference was conveniently held during the New England Patriots Super Bowl victory parade, something that irked many locals, including the reporters at the press conference.

"If we had waited another day it impacts whether or we had an advantage on the ice and two practice times," Sweeney said. "If we had announced it during the Super Bowl or prior to the Super Bowl the questions would be probably similar. Once the decision was made then you have no choice but to stand up and answer the questions accordingly."

More to follow...