Monday, November 3, 2014
Bruins Sign Head Coach Claude Julien to a Multi-Year (3?) Contract Extension
It was reported on Saturday night that Bruins head coach Claude Julien had agreed to a multi-year contract extension (CBC said 3 years) but neither he nor the Bruins would confirm that after their 4-2 win over Ottawa. You knew it was just a matter of time though and as it turned out, we didn't have to wait for too long as the B's announced that old news this afternoon.
I never played or coached hockey so I can't really tell you from first-hand experience how much coaching matters but my general view is that in the NHL, it's mostly about having players respect you and also being able to implement a system that works if you give it the proper time to develop. By those standards, Julien is an outstanding coach. Boston has been in the playoffs the past seven seasons including winning the Stanley Cup in 2011 and reaching the Stanley Cup Final two years later.
He started here in 2007-08 so he's the second longest tenured head coach currently in the NHL behind Detroit's Mike Babcock (10 years). The team's record during that pivotal time in club history is 317-171-65 (.632 winning percentage). It never seemed like Claude was thinking about going elsewhere, I'd say he's settled here for a long time and that new deal only solidifies it.
The Bruins are lucky to have a guy like him that is respectful of the players but also capable of kicking them in the ass when they need it. One of the reasons that nobody has panicked during this slow start is because Julien's teams usually play better as the season wears on. When they aren't scoring, it's easy to make fun of Julien's system but overall the results speak for themselves.