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Michel Therrien Fired, Claude Julien Hired

MONTREAL (February 14, 2017) - Montreal Canadiens general manager, Marc Bergevin announced Tuesday the appointment of Claude Julien as the Club's new head coach. Michel Therrien has been relieved of his duties.

"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. 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," said Canadiens general manager, Marc Bergevin.

Claude Julien, 56, enters his second tour of duty as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens after assuming the role of head coach from January 2003 to January 2006 with a record of 72-62-10-15 in 259 regular season games at the helm of the team (holding a .531 winning percentage).

Claude Julien has coached 997 regular season games in the NHL (Montreal, New Jersey and Boston), including the last 10 season as the Bruins bench boss (2007 to 2017). Throughout his NHL career, Julien managed a record of 538 wins, 332 losses, 10 ties and 117 overtime losses for a .603 winning percentage.

Julien was relieved of his coaching duties with the Boston Bruins on February 7 after compiling a record of 419-246-94 in 759 regular season games, and a .614 winning percentage behind the Bruins bench. He led his team to the Stanley Cup Championship in 2011 and also reached the NHL Stanley Cup finals in 2013. He also led the Bruins to the President's Trophy in 2013-14 after racking up 117 points in the standings. In 2008-09, Julien was the Jack Adams Trophy recipient as the NHL's head coach of the year and, on March 7, 2016 he reached yet another milestone when he became the winningest coach in Bruins history with 388 wins. Julien, who earned his 500th NHL win on February 13, 2016, also holds the Bruins record for most playoff wins with 57. With a career 997 games, Julien ranks 27th among NHL head coaches (11th among active head coaches) and 21st with 538 wins (10th among active head coaches).

A native of Orleans, Ontario, Julien began his coaching career behind the bench of the Hull Olympiques in the QMJHL back in 1996. Compiling a record of 141-109-16 in four seasons in Hull, he led his team to the Memorial Cup in 1997. Julien also led the Hamilton Bulldogs from 2000 to 2003, earning a selection of AHL coach of the year in 2002-03. On the international stage, as a member of Team Canada's coaching staff, he won gold at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and captured yet another gold medal at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Michel Therrien, 53, was named head coach of the Canadiens on June 5, 2012. He was the Club's head coach from 2000 to 2003. Therrien compiled a 406-303-23-82 record in 814 regular season games as head coach in the NHL. He led the Canadiens to the Eastern Conference finals in 2014. He also reached the Stanley Cup Finals as head coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008. Therrien posted a record of 271 wins, 198 losses, 23 ties and 50 overtime losses in 542 career regular season games with the Canadiens (.567). Michel Therrien ranks 4th (behind Toe Blake, Dick Irvin and Scotty Bowman) on the Canadiens' all-time list for games (542) and wins (271).

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: claude+julien, michel+therrien


AngryMrStayPuft's avatar

This is old news.  It was reported back in 2003!

Posted by AngryMrStayPuft from Windsor, ON on 02/14/17 at 05:56 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar


Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 02/14/17 at 06:15 PM ET

Gary A$$ SUCK !!'s avatar


Posted by Gary A$$ SUCK !! from Fort Myers, Florida on 02/14/17 at 06:35 PM ET


About time.  His team was tanking it harder than… oh shit, they are leading their conference?

Posted by neffernin on 02/14/17 at 06:50 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

I trying to approach this very delicately…I by no means am trying to infer anything anti Francophone….

However, it seems the team reduces the potential coaching candidates when non French speaking coaches are eliminated as potential matches.

I know they have had non French speaking coaches even recently.

Could Babcock be the coach in Montreal without grumbling? Just asking.

Posted by Down River Dan on 02/14/17 at 06:59 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

So, I think this is the fifth head coach to be fired this year who not only has a better record than Blashill but a much better record than Blashill. I think there are only two explanations for this…

1) Dan Cleary passed on the tapes of Holland and [insert name of person or bizarre creature here] doing more than just “kicking tires.”

2) Chris Illitich has absolutely no interest in hockey and can’t be bothered to spend even five minutes a day questioning the capabilities of Blashill or the sanity of Hapless Holland.

At a time when we’re all mourning and honoring one of the greatest owners ever in the NHL, we’re watching his beloved team crashing against the rocks with no one at the helm.

If Holland had any guts, he’d fire Blashill and hire Gallant. If Chris Illitch had half a brain, he’d fire both Blashill and Holland and replace them with Gallant and Koko. At least it would be an upgrade in brain power in both positions.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 02/14/17 at 07:32 PM ET

Primis's avatar

2) Chris Illitich has absolutely no interest in hockey and can’t be bothered to spend even five minutes a day questioning the capabilities of Blashill or the sanity of Hapless Holland.

We have a winner.

Posted by Primis on 02/14/17 at 07:45 PM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

Per Ken Campbell in THN:

When Julien was fired by Bruins last week, they were, by basically every measure, the best possession team in the NHL. That’s because as flawed as the Bruins were, Julien had them playing with the kind of structure that allowed them to be competitive.

Structure, schmucture!  Who needs that when you got ‘process’?

Posted by duhduhduh on 02/14/17 at 08:11 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

If Holland had any guts, he’d HIRE Blashill.

I thought I’d fix up your sentence a bit, pulling from the comments of years past when he was supposed to be so much better than Babcock. But hindsight is always 2020.

Just like how that assistant coach of the wings was supposed to fix the power play and yaddayaddayadda.

But anyways,back to the subject at hand (Mtl coaching change)  this really is interesting. So if the Canadiens fail,is Bergevins time up?

Posted by TreKronor on 02/14/17 at 09:23 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

KH screws up again!! Should have hired Julien FAST and made him an asst coach. (to be promoted as soon as KH grew a pair) Love to see Blash sweat with Julien standing beside him , temporarily

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 02/14/17 at 10:51 PM ET


It’s pathetic. Blashill should have been axed in December, early January at the latest. When Detroit got smoked, at home, by Arizona on December 13th I didn’t see ANY way this team was making the playoffs. Yet here we sit 2 months later, playing WORSE hockey and he still has a job?

The GM and the roster have a lot to do with it but the team has consistently under performed under Blashill. They have no identity, no intensity and look lost half the time. I understand that young players will struggle but there appears to be no structure to go with that horrible “process”. I have a hard time remembering a coach who so clearly needs to be fired.

I don’t care that the next guy might not be the answer. This one certainly isn’t. I supported the hiring but at least I’m willing to admit it was a mistake.

Holland’s biggest weakness may be his inability to admit failure and learn from his mistakes.

Posted by evileye on 02/15/17 at 01:29 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Could Babcock be the coach in Montreal without grumbling? Just asking.

Posted by Down River Dan on 02/14/17 at 05:59 PM ET

He would have a longer leash with his past record.  BUT he would have to WIN and the same goes for for any coach of any nationality

I also thought hiring Blash was a good thing but I knew this year would be tougher than the previous on, as did Babcock I assume

Then the kids started looking better than the injured Vets.  I got a bit of a spark that didn’t last long. In Reality if Z was not on the roster the Wings would give the Avs a run.The majority of goals scored are from Z and anyone that gets a chance to play with him, AA being an exception.

The D is still bad but XO, and maybe Sproul and the unknown midget DMen in GR?????

Goalies have a tough time playing behind a D that scores on their own goalie BUT they are both young. I remember Howard nearly giving me a Heart Attack at that age.

Julien should have been hired and most have had glowing assessments of him. His English is certainly top notch.

But good old DumbAss KH has no creativity among other issues

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 02/15/17 at 02:13 PM ET

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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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