It appears that Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien will get his shot at redemption next season.
According to a report from CSN’s Tony Massarotti, who was given the information from an unnamed source, the Bruins are expected to announce that Julien and his entire coaching staff will be back behind the bench in 2015-16. If that is, in fact, the case, it will give Julien the opportunity to lead the Bruins back to the post-season in the upcoming campaign, something he failed to do this season just four years after winning the Stanley Cup.
That Julien and staff will be back isn’t shocking, but there were questions about whether or not Julien had job security following the firing of former Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli. Chiarelli, who has since landed a job in Edmonton as Oilers GM, was fired almost immediately following the season and Bruins team president Cam Neely said the club would allow the new GM to decide the fate of the coaching staff.
At his introductory press conference, Sweeney was non-committal about the future of Julien, saying, “he’s the coach of the Boston Bruins as of today, for sure.”
Since arriving in Boston in 2007-08, Julien has amassed a 351-192-79 record, helped the Bruins to the 2010-11 Stanley Cup and the 2012-13 Stanley Cup final. He also led the team to the Presidents’ Trophy in 2013-14 with a record of 54-19-9.
Much of the Bruins problems this season stemmed from injury troubles, including the loss of defenseman Zdeno Chara, center David Krejci and the untimely loss of blueliner Dougie Hamilton when the team was in the hunt for a wild-card spot.
Down the stretch the Bruins faltered, eventually losing their grasp on the wild-card berth to the Ottawa Senators. Boston closed the season having lost three straight games, two of which came in regulation.
Though Julien is reportedly set to be back as Bruins coach, it would be safe to bet that if the Bruins start slow or are out of a playoff spot by the time the holiday break rolls around the two sides could be headed for a divorce.
Julien has the second most wins of all-time in Bruins coaching history and sits only 26 victories back of Art Ross’ Boston record of 387 wins. However, no coach in Bruins history has won as many post-season games as Julien, who in his tenure as Boston’s bench boss has won 57 playoff games.