Canadiens fire Therrien, bring back Julien
MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens fired head coach Michel Therrien on Tuesday and replaced him with Claude Julien.
The Habs have struggled of late and slipped into fifth place in the NHL’s Eastern Conference standings.
“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,” Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said. Julien, who was fired as coach of the Boston Bruins last week, returns to the city where he coached from 2003-06.
His first tenure with the Canadiens began in January 2003, when he was hired away from the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs. He was in the midst of his third season as Bulldogs’ coach, but was formally under contract to the Edmonton Oilers, who shared affiliation with the Bulldogs with the Canadiens that season.
The Oilers agreed to let the Canadiens hire Julien as the head coach and when he left the Bulldogs, they had set an AHL record for the first half of a season with a 33-6-3-3 record through the first 41 games. His assistant, Geoff Ward, took over the coaching job and led the team to the seventh game of the Calder Cup final, which they lost to Houston.
Julien won the Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011 and was the longest-tenured coach until last week.