By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — You can debate forever about whether or not Claude Julien deserved to be fired as head coach of the Boston Bruins. You can question whether the team was really underachieving, whether the team’s performance was because of Julien’s perceived shortcomings, whether the team will be any better with Julien gone and Bruce Cassidy assuming interim head coaching duties.
But what really cannot be debated is that the timing of the Bruins’ announcement was highly, highly questionable.
The Bruins made the announcement to relieve Julien of his head coaching duties on Tuesday morning, and later announced that GM Don Sweeney would hold a press conference on the news at 11:30 a.m. Not many reporters will be present at the press conference and most fans will not hear what Sweeney has to say, because the presser takes place during the Patriots’ duck boat parade through the streets of Boston to celebrate Sunday night’s Super Bowl victory.
To call this timing “cowardly” or “classless” would not do it justice. The team’s decision to fire Julien and hold the presser in the middle of the Patriots’ big celebration simply transcends the concept of a “news dump.” They might as well have made the announcement right when the Patriots were lining up for the Super Bowl-winning touchdown.
But those on Twitter who follow the Bruins sure took notice of the announcement and timing of it.
Whether you love or hate the move, there’s no doubt that Julien deserved better than this. He was the winningest coach in Bruins history and helped the team win its first Stanley Cup since 1972 when they defeated the Vancouver Canucks in 2011. Maybe it was just time for the team to move on … but even so, they could have handled the change much better than they did.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.