Tuesday, February 14, 2017
NHL News: Habs fire Therrien, replace him with Julien
The Montreal Canadiens have fired head coach Michel Therrien, and have replaced him with former Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien. It is also the second time the Habs have fired Therrien and replaced him with Julien after the same thing happened in 2003. Julien coached Montreal until 2006. Two current Habs were on that '06 team Julien coached: D Andrei Markov and F Tomas Plekanec. It is exactly one week after Julien was fired by the Bruins. "I would like to sincerely thank Michel for his relentless work with the Montreal Canadiens over eight seasons behind the bench," Canadiens GM Marc Bergervin said. "Including the last 5 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." Therrien was head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2005-2009, but was fired on February 15, 2009, and replaced by Dan Bylsma, who led them to a Cup win vs Detroit later that year.
The Habs started off 13-1-1 this season, but are 18-18-7 since. Even after Sunday's 4-0 shutout loss to the Bruins, the Habs still remain first in the Atlantic division with a record of 31-19-8 (70 points). Julien won the Jack Adams award in 2009 (while Therrien was fired) and the Stanley Cup in 2011, both with the Bruins, during his tenure in Boston. "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," Bergervin also stated.