We’ve got a good ol’ fashioned Hire-And-Fire to report!
Tuesday afternoon, the Montreal Canadiens stunned the hockey world by firing their head coach, Michel Therrien, and then hiring former Bruins head coach, Claude Julien to replace him. Julien was out of work for seven days, which is only 10,075 minutes off of Barry Trotz’s initial estimate.
Trotz texted Claude Julien after the news. Told us Julien will be out of a job "for about five minutes."
— Tommy Chalk (@Tommy_Chalk) February 7, 2017
After a strong 13-1-1 start, the Canadiens have been a middling team (18-17-7) over the past three months. The Habs haven’t won in regulation since January 31. That includes being shut out 4-0 by the Colorado Avalanche on February 7, and squeaking out a 5-4 overtime win over the Arizona Coyotes on February 9.
Therrien did not appear to be popular with his players or around Bell Centre, where Fire Therrien signs had been spotted in the crowd.
This will be Julien’s second stint as a head coach for the Canadiens. He previously coached the team from January 2003 to January 2006 with a record of 72-62-10-1.
MONTREAL (February 14, 2017) – Montreal Canadiens general manager, Marc Bergevin announced Tuesday the appointment of Claude Julien as the Club’s new head coach. Michel Therrien has been relieved of his duties.
“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,” said Canadiens general manager, Marc Bergevin.
Claude Julien, 56, enters his second tour of duty as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens after assuming the role of head coach from January 2003 to January 2006 with a record of 72-62-10-15 in 259 regular season games at the helm of the team (holding a .531 winning percentage).
Claude Julien has coached 997 regular season games in the NHL (Montreal, New Jersey and Boston), including the last 10 season as the Bruins bench boss (2007 to 2017). Throughout his NHL career, Julien managed a record of 538 wins, 332 losses, 10 ties and 117 overtime losses for a .603 winning percentage.
Julien was relieved of his coaching duties with the Boston Bruins on February 7 after compiling a record of 419-246-94 in 759 regular season games, and a .614 winning percentage behind the Bruins bench. He led his team to the Stanley Cup Championship in 2011 and also reached the NHL Stanley Cup finals in 2013. He also led the Bruins to the President’s Trophy in 2013-14 after racking up 117 points in the standings. In 2008-09, Julien was the Jack Adams Trophy recipient as the NHL’s head coach of the year and, on March 7, 2016 he reached yet another milestone when he became the winningest coach in Bruins history with 388 wins. Julien, who earned his 500th NHL win on February 13, 2016, also holds the Bruins record for most playoff wins with 57. With a career 997 games, Julien ranks 27th among NHL head coaches (11th among active head coaches) and 21st with 538 wins (10th among active head coaches).
A native of Orleans, Ontario, Julien began his coaching career behind the bench of the Hull Olympiques in the QMJHL back in 1996. Compiling a record of 141-109-16 in four seasons in Hull, he led his team to the Memorial Cup in 1997. Julien also led the Hamilton Bulldogs from 2000 to 2003, earning a selection of AHL coach of the year in 2002-03. On the international stage, as a member of Team Canada’s coaching staff, he won gold at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and captured yet another gold medal at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Michel Therrien, 53, was named head coach of the Canadiens on June 5, 2012. He was the Club’s head coach from 2000 to 2003. Therrien compiled a 406-303-23-82 record in 814 regular season games as head coach in the NHL. He led the Canadiens to the Eastern Conference finals in 2014. He also reached the Stanley Cup Finals as head coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008. Therrien posted a record of 271 wins, 198 losses, 23 ties and 50 overtime losses in 542 career regular season games with the Canadiens (.567). Michel Therrien ranks 4th (behind Toe Blake, Dick Irvin and Scotty Bowman) on the Canadiens’ all-time list for games (542) and wins (271).
Headline image: Cara Bahniuk
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