Claude Julien returns to Montreal as Head Coach

Former Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien has been named the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens.

Therrien's first stint in Montreal began in the 2000-01 season, when he replaced Alain Vigneault, and lasted until January 2003 - when he was replaced by Julien.

The Bruins fired Julien a week earlier, apologizing for the timing of the announcement - during the Patriots' Super Bowl parade. As the head coach in Boston, Julien became the team's all-time leader in wins. The team has more Stanley Cups by far than any other NHL club, but the last one was hoisted in 1993, and for hockey mad Montreal that might as well be the Jurassic era. He is convinced that they have hired the best available coach, and one of the leagues best, who can return the team to the winning track.

Their most recent game was a 4-0 loss at the hands of the Boston Bruins.

But there are still 24 games left and don't expect Julien to solve all the Canadiens' problems. They persisted even in the best of times. But Julien had already etched his name in the Bruins' stories history after leading them to the Stanley Cup in 2011, Boston's first in 39 years. And whether you agree with that mentality or not, Canadiens owner Geoff Molson made it clear-after Randy Cunneyworth's (disastrous) interim run as head coach in 2012-that so long as he was calling the shots the team wouldn't again break from the tradition of having a coach who could communicate in French.




The Canadiens are atop the Atlantic Division with 70 points at 31-19-8 and have a six-point lead on the Bruins and Ottawa Senators. Julien put together a 72-62-15-10 record in his first go around in Montreal, and was sacked in January 2006.

Julien was sacked last week by the Boston Bruins after he struggled to achieve consistency in Boston. Montreal had to ask Boston for permission to speak to Julien, which out of respect for Julien, Boston allowed. His assistant, Geoff Ward, took over the head coaching job and led the Bulldogs to the seventh game of the Calder Cup final, which they lost to Hershey. (At the moment, that team would be the fourth-place Rangers, who have at least five more points than any team in the Atlantic.) And so finishing second wouldn't be so bad either - and could also lead to something of a dream playoff scenario: Julien's new team, the Canadiens, facing his old team, the Bruins.

Want to stream all 82 Canadiens games this season? I consider that the time has come for our team to have a new breath, a new voice, a new direction.

It didn't take Claude Julien long to find another job.

A team spokesman said the Canadiens would hold a news conference Wednesday to discuss the franchise's sixth in-season coaching change over the past 16 years.

 
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