Claude Julien hired by Canadiens, replaces Michel Therrien
It took exactly one week for Claude Julien to find a job in the National Hockey League.
Ironically enough, it comes from a team who A) is on their bye week B) is coming off a loss to the Bruins and C) a historic rival from up north. Oh and it’s also a place that he’s coached before.
Just minutes ago, the Montreal Canadiens revealed a Valentine’s Day blockbuster. After more than four seasons at the helm, Michel Therrien was relieved of his coaching duties and replaced by none other than Julien, the winningest coach in Bruins history.
In another form of irony, Julien replaces Therrien as Habs coach for the second time in their respective careers. The former Bruins bench boss replaced Therrien in 2003 to begin his first stint in Montreal.
Hoping to jumpstart the struggling Habs, Julien replaces the fourth winningest coach in Montreal’s franchise history (271 wins). Following another hot start, the Canadiens have cooled down of late and enter their bye week having gone 3-6-1 in their last 10 games.
Therrien leaves Montreal also ranking fourth in franchise history in games coached (542). The now twice former Canadiens bench boss, who coached the Penguins to the 2008 Stanley Cup Final only to be relieved of his duties just prior to the playoffs the very next season, guided the Canadiens to an Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 2014 after an upset of Julien’s Bruins in their seven-game second round series.
The Bruins and Habs do not meet again in the 2016-17 regular season. But hey, there’s always hope that the two Original Six franchises will meet in the postseason, especially after today’s news.