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Friday, 05 June 2015 18:44

Claude Julien Will Return As Head Coach of the Boston Bruins Next Season

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New Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has made his first big decision on the job.

Sweeney has decided to retain the services of head coach Claude Julien for the start of the 2015-16 season.  The news was first reported two days ago by Tony Massarotti on the Felger and Mazz radio show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, and was confirmed by the new general manager at Friday's pre-draft scouting combine.

 Julien's job seemed to be in limbo after the Bruins missed the playoffs for the first time under his guidance.  Once former GM Peter Chiarelli, who gave Julien a three-year extension which starts this year, was removed from his post early in the offseason, many believed Julien would follow him out of Boston.

Sweeney didn't help matters himself during his introductory press conference just over two weeks ago, when he mentioned that Julien was the coach of the B's "as of today".  As of today, it looks like Julien and his entire coaching staff will remain intact for the coming season.

Terms have not been disclosed for the contracts of assistant coaches Doug Jarvis, Doug Houda, Joe Sacco, and Bob Essensa, but one source has reported that they all may have one-year deals which will allow the team to reassess their positions next offseason.

Julien has been one of the most successful coaches in the NHL during his tenure in Boston, bringing a title to the Bruins in 2011 and taking them to another Stanley Cup final in 2013.  His record in Boston is 351-192-79, and his defense-first approach to coaching was extremely effective during the majority of his time leading the Black and Gold.

However, his squad last season never seemed to get its legs, and had to overcome numerous untimely injuries to key players throughout the season.  They struggled offensively and defensively, and were never able to string together a stretch of play that would indicate they could contend for anything more than the final playoff spots.  The B's finished one spot out of the playoffs in 2014-15, ending with 96 points and a 41-27-14 record, which led to Chiarelli's departure.

Apparently, Sweeney saw enough potential in Julien and his system to keep him on for another season.  Whether Julien changes his style of play to be more representative of the up-tempo, attacking style that both the Blackhawks and Lightning have used to get to the Stanley Cup finals this season has yet to be determined. 

The Bruins do have a lot of roster uncertainty thanks to many questionable contract decisions made by Chiarelli in recent years, so Sweeney will have lots of work to do after today's coaching announcement.

Adam Belue

My name is Adam Belue, I'm from Fall River, MA, and I'm a sports fanatic.  I'll watch and write about just about any and every sport, even the fringe ones that aren't really sports like bowling, poker, and ultimate frisbee.  I'm a huge Green Bay Packers fan, and a self-proclaimed New England Patriots hater (and proud of it!)... which makes my job in a sporting goods store quite interesting.  I'm a big fan of the other local teams (Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics), along with the Alabama Crimson Tide and college football as a whole.  I may be a bit obsessed (or a lot obsessed) with Taylor Swift, and I've seen her in concert four times so far... some of the best times I've had by the way her concerts are quite the experience!  I'm also a huge tennis fan, and have played the sport for a good majority of my life.  I wish more people watched and appreciated tennis.  I'm currently a part of the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox Beat Team on CLNS Radio, and post a weekly fantasy football and college football column during the season.