The Boston Bruins on Tuesday relieved head coach, Claude Julien of his duties behind the bench.
The 56-year-old coach had been the longest tenured bench boss in the National Hockey League, with 10 seasons behind the bench. During his time in Boston, he led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final twice, capturing the prize in 2011.
Julien, won the Jack Adams Award as the Coach of the Year following the 2008-2009 NHL season and led the Bruins to the 2014 President’s Trophy, as the league’s top team during the regular season.
Bruins Chief Executive Officer, Charlie Jacobs said, “Claude Julien is the all-time winningest coach in Boston Bruins history, and my family and I join Bruins fans in thanking him for the many great memories that have come while he has been behind the Bruins bench. As a management team, we set a high standard for ourselves, and I believe our organization is moving in the right direction towards meeting and exceeding those standards.”
Bruins owner, Jeremy Jacobs, expressed his confidence that general manager Don Sweeney has the team headed in the right direction.
He said, “I want to thank Claude for his service to the Boston Bruins, and wish him and his family the best in the future. I am confident in the direction and vision that Don has for our team, and look forward to seeing the results on the ice.”
Assistant coach, Bruce Cassidy will take over the reigns for the Bruins. Cassidy had been elevated to the role of assistant coach, after spending five seasons with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League.
Julien was hired by the Bruins on June 21, 2007 and led the club to the playoffs seven times in his 10 years behind the bench. In 759 games, his 419-256-94 record make him Boston’s all-time put him first overall in victories amongst Bruins coaches.
The Bruins recent play has put them on the decline, missing the postseason the last two seasons. In 2015-2016, they lost on the final day of the regular season to fall just short of a playoff bid and in 2014-2015, they finished two points shy of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second wild card spot.
Currently, the Bruins sit one point out of the last wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, with 58 points in 55 games (26-23-6.)
Bruins President, Cam Neely said, “These decisions are not easy, and Don has my full support. I believe that we have a better team than our results to date show. I also recognize that there are areas that we as a group need to improve on. This decision does not in any way diminish Claude’s legacy as a Bruins coach. I would like to wish him and his family all of the best moving forward.”
Cassidy, 51, served as a coach with the Washington Capitals from 2002-2004, helping guide them to a playoff berth in the 2002-2003 season. He also served as an assistant with the Chicago Blackhawks, under Trent Yawney, in 2005-2006.
In five seasons with the PBruins, he put up a 207-128-5 record, making the Calder Cup Playoffs all five years. He will make his debut on Thursday night when the Bruins host the San Jose Sharks at the TD Garden.