Watch CBS News

Bruins Bringing Back Head Coach Claude Julien

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Boston Bruins are bringing back head coach Claude Julien.

Boston general manager Don Sweeney made the announcement in a press conference on Thursday.

"Absolutely," Sweeney responded when asked of Julien would be back for a 10th season on the Boston bench. "Claude is a coach who can take us through what I'll describe as a bumpy transition period this year.

"I have work to do, we have work to do. We've already started to assess that," said Sweeney. "I believe in Claude as a coach."

"It's pretty obvious we failed on numerous occasions when we had big games," Julien admitted Thursday. "Somehow, the consistency wasn't there. We thought we had a decent amount of consistency at one point, but it slipped. Throughout the year we lost games we felt were important to win, so at the end of the day we ended up missing the playoffs by a small margin. That's where we failed."

Julien has guided the Bruins to a 393-223-88 record in his nine seasons in Boston, winning the Stanley Cup in 2011 with a dramatic seven-game victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Julien led the Bruins to another Cup final in 2013, falling to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.

The Bruins made the postseason in each of Julien's first seven seasons in Boston, advancing past the first round in five of those appearances. But it's now been two straight seasons in which Julien's Bruins have collapsed down the stretch and missed out on the postseason. Julien is the first Bruins coach since Milt Schmidt in 1966 to keep his job after the team missed the playoffs for two consecutive seasons.

While he admitted it would have been easier to leave Boston, he's up for the challenge of rebuilding the Bruins into a Stanley Cup contender.

"I'm going to be honest with you — would it have been easier for me to go somewhere else and say that I'm going to go somewhere fresh and start? That's not what I want. To me, this organization's been good to me. They've been loyal to me. Like I said before: I love the city, I love our fans," said Julien. "I love just the environment here. You want to be somewhere where people are really passionate about the game. There's a lot of people here, including players, that have helped me become the coach that I am.

"I don't want to be that guy that bails just because all of a sudden you hit a bump in the road. I want to be that guy that perseveres," he added. "It's OK to be remembered right now as the winningest coach in Bruins history, but I'd rather be remembered for a guy who had enough character to go back into the trenches and dig his heels in and help turn this organization around, versus the other way that could have been."

There are changes coming to Julien's staff, however. Sweeney announced that long-time Julien assistant Doug Houda  and other assistants whose contracts are up will not be back next season. Goaltending coach Bob Essensa has one year remaining on his contract and will return.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.