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Report: Claude Julien's Job Could Depend On Bruins Making Playoffs

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Boston Bruins currently sit outside of the NHL's playoff picture, and if the team fails to make a late-season push toward a postseason berth, it's been widely speculated the general manager Peter Chiarelli could lose his job.

But might head coach Claude Julien suffer the same fate?

According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, that certainly feels like a real possibility.

LeBrun wrote on Wednesday that upcoming summer "has the potential to be, quite frankly, one of the most intriguing and dramatic offseasons in the NHL coaching world in quite some time," and that includes the possible availability of Julien.

"The Boston Bruins are sitting out of a playoff spot as we write this and that can't be good for head coach Claude Julien, at least if you go by the veiled hints made this season by the owner's son Charlie Jacobs and team president Cam Neely," LeBrun wrote. "It seems crazy to me that Julien, one of the game's most respected coaches and the guy who guided the Bruins to 2011 glory, could be fired. But that's the feeling you get from the vibes coming out of Boston. And if he hits the market, holy moly, that's another huge fish."

Granted, "vibes" don't necessarily mean anything, but the story nevertheless ought to create an interesting environment for Julien and the Bruins through the final weeks of the season.

LeBrun also wrote that San Jose's Todd McLellan, Philadelphia's Craig Berube, Arizona's Dave Tippett, Buffalo's Ted Nolan, Edmonton's Todd Nelson, Anaheim's Bruce Boudreau and St. Louis' Ken Hitchcock all sit on coaching seats that are varying degrees of hot. Additionally, Detroit bench boss Mike Babcock will be a free agent after this season, and he could choose to coach elsewhere.

Julien is currently in his eighth season coaching the Bruins. He's led the team to a 346-190-77 record in that time, making the postseason in all seven opportunities prior to the current season. The Bruins are 57-40 in the playoffs under Julien, including the 2011 run to a Stanley Cup victory and the 2013 run that came up just two wins short.

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