The Canadiens pulled off a stunning coaching switch on Tuesday, firing head coach Michel Therrien and replacing him with recently deposed Bruins coach Claude Julien.
Julien was fired by the Bruins exactly one week ago. He had been the longest tenured coach in the NHL, having been with Boston since 2007.
Therrien’s second stint as Montreal’s head coach began in 2012 and he led the team to playoffs in each of his first four seasons. The Habs are in line to qualify for the postseason again, currently sitting first in the Atlantic Division.
“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,” Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement. “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.”
Julien won the 2011 Stanley Cup with Boston and is that franchise’s all-time leader in wins.