Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 04/02/07 at 01:52 PM ET
Breaking news via the AP,
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—The New Jersey Devils have fired coach Claude Julien.
Update 1:00 pm EDT:
Again, from AP via ESPN,
Claude Julien was fired as New Jersey Devils coach Monday and replaced by general manager Lou Lamoriello with a week to go in the regular season.
The firing comes after the Devils won four of their last five games. The team is in first place in the Atlantic Division with three games to go.
Julien guided the Devils to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, posting a 47-24-8 mark in his only season as coach.
added 2:10pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The suspicion was that the majority of players believed Lamoriello was the controlling, behind-the-scenes influence anyway; that Julien had little actual input into the overall scheme of things; and this move was mostly about Lamoriello stepping out from behind the curtains and putting himself squarely on the firing line, as he is wont to do.
added 3:51pm, from the AP via the Santa Barbara News-Press,
‘I don’t think we’re at a point of being ready both mentally and (physically) to play the way that is necessary going into the playoffs,’’ Lamoriello said outside the Devils’ deserted locker room at the Continental Airlines Arena. ‘‘I am not saying that is going to change. But I think there has to be better focus going forward.’‘
The firing comes after the Devils won four of their last five games. The team is in first place in the Atlantic Division.
Julien, who was informed of his dismissal on Monday morning by Lamoriello, was not immediately available for comment.
‘‘He certainly understands,’’ said Lamoriello, who said his decision was not spur of the moment.
A practice scheduled for Monday was called off after Lamoriello discussed the move with the team.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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