Canadiens fire Ther­rien, bring back Julien

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

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.

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