BOSTON (CBS) – Joe Haggerty of Comcast SportsNet New England called into 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show Thursday morning to discuss the future of head coach Claude Julien and much more regarding the Bruins offseason.
General manager Peter Chiarelli has been relieved of his duties, and according to a report in the Boston Globe, team president Cam Neely would have preferred a mid-season coaching change but did not have the authorization to do so. He wanted Julien fired in early January, and now it’s up to the next general manager to decide Julien’s status.
“You could tell something was going on in that [January 4) Carolina game. Obviously it’s not going to crawl up to the surface in the middle of the season. They came out and had four shots on net against an awful Carolina team in the first period. They ended up sagging again in the third period and it was the worst game of the year. That was the absolute low point of the season. They lost in a shootout in that game,” Haggerty said.
“Two days later that’s when Charlie Jacobs came out with his comments about utter failure of missing the playoffs. You could sense that something was going on there but until the dirty laundry starts coming out after the season is over, it’s difficult to tell exactly what’s going on. It doesn’t surprise me that Neely wanted Julien gone or at least make a significant move to spark the team and get things changed around because you could see that this team needed the defibrillator paddles shocked to the system and something to wake them up in middle of the year. That never really happened.”
Though Haggerty notes the Carolina game as being a reason for why Neely wanted Julien gone, it could have traced back to at least 2011.
“Look, you can go back to 2011 and 2013 with both [general manger] Peter [Chiarelli] and Claude. I think Cam has differed in philosophy with Peter and Claude at times. Certainly in one of those two instances a change could have been made if things didn’t go a lot better for the Bruins like they did. If they lose in the first round, both of those two are probably gone and we’d probably would have had this conversation years ago,” Haggerty mentioned.
Haggerty told Toucher & Rich that Neely would like to see some sort of blend between the “Big Bad Bruins” of old and the faster, more skilled modern NHL.
“I don’t think there is any question at different points Neely has wanted to play a more offensive-minded style, more open and less conservative play. He wants people in place that will take his vision and put it on the ice and put the players out there that will do that. Now finally this season the way things went, it was the perfect time to make the changes that he wanted to make for a long time.”
With the system Julien has in place and the type of system Neely desires, Haggerty believes Julien could adapt to fit.
“I think there’s an element of Julien that he’s willing to adapt to the times and change and adapt to match his coaching style. I think with Peter enfilading him, there was a level of protection there where Julien could be a little more stubborn in his ways and less willing to adapt because he knew Peter had his back,” Haggerty said.
“Claude is going to have to adapt and change his ways or he’s going to be gone. I think the only way Claude comes back is if Don Sweeney is the new general manager and wants to keep most of the infrastructure in play to start the year,” said Haggs. “If it’s Ray Shero or somebody else, I think they’re going to want to bring in their own people and that’s how it always is.”
Listen below for full segment: