BOSTON (CBS) — Claude Julien is no longer in limbo with the Boston Bruins regarding his job status.
A report from 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Tony Massarotti was proven true on Friday, as Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced the team is keeping Julien and his staff for the upcoming season.
“I had really good discussions with Claude and all of our staff and, unequivocally, we’re moving forward with our group,” Sweeney said Friday. “I’m really excited. I referenced some of the changes that I think our group moving forward I would like to see make and those guys have already been working on some of those things. So that part of it is really exciting for me. There’s been a little bit of question mark of the timing of maybe me being able to proclaim this, but to be honest with you, this is the first opportunity I’ve had in that regard. I know there’s been speculation so I want to make sure to put that to bed. I’m fully supporting this staff and looking forward to working with them all.”
Sweeney, who took over for the fired Peter Chiarelli last month, made the announcement from Buffalo at the NHL draft combine. The first-time GM said that he used the past few weeks to have long discussions with Julien and the coaching staff members.
“[I’m] not going to apologize for taking a little time to go through that process, to be honest with you,” Sweeney said. “I think it was right for me to do that and I’ve been completely respectful, as I’ve said, their success and I’m going to use that to my advantage. They’ve been part of a group and they work hard and I’m looking forward to enjoying it.”
The decision on Julien’s fate was left up to Sweeney when he was officially named the Bruins GM job on May 20. Sweeney did not give a complete vote of confidence in the coach during his introduction, stating, “He’s the coach of the Boston Bruins as of today, that’s for sure.”
Today, we finally found out Julien will at least start the season on the Bruins bench, along with his staff, made up of Doug Jarvis, Doug Houda, Joe Sacco, and Bob Essensa.
In eight seasons with the Bruins, Julien has led the team to a 351-192-79 record and seven playoff berths, including a Stanley Cup victory in 2011 and a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2013. But he came under heavy criticism after a disappointing campaign in 2014-15, with the Bruins missing the postseason for the first time with Julien behind the bench.
The upcoming season will be the first of a three-year contract extension Julien signed in November.