Bruins Fire Julien
The Boston Bruins have fired head coach Claude Julien. He will be replaced on an interim basis by assistant coach Bruce Cassidy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt anyone’s really surprised by this. Julien’s in the final season of his contract, speculation over his future has dogged him since last summer and the Bruins are struggling to stay in the playoff hunt.
UPDATE: CapFriendly initially listed Julien as being in the final year of his contract. ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports he had a year left at $3.5 million. Any team with interest in hiring Julien for next season will need the Bruins’ permission.
The 56-year-old Julien spent 10 seasons behind the Bruins bench, guiding them to two Stanley Cup Finals and a championship in 2011. In recent years, however, the roster’s been depleted via free agency and some questionable trades. The Bruins missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons and could miss the cut this season.There was a sense that the front office might consider a coaching shakeup in hopes of bolstering their playoff chances.
It remains to be seen if the move improves the Bruins over the remainder of the season. They’re a one-line team offensively, lacking experienced and skilled defensive depth and in need a proven backup goaltender.
As for Julien, he probably won’t be unemployed for long. I suspect the expansion Vegas Golden Knights will be very interested in speaking with him. He could also land with another NHL club before next season.