Julien says keeping Bruins job doesn't guarantee stability
WILMINGTON, Mass. (AP) Claude Julien knows that just because he's now the NHL's longest-tenured coach doesn't mean his stint with the Boston Bruins has more stability.
''It just means that I'm probably the next one to fall off the totem pole, right?'' Julien said Wednesday. ''I'm going to try to make it last as long as I can.''
Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced last week that he would retain Julien for a ninth season, even though Boston didn't make the playoffs this season - the first time during Julien's tenure.
The Bruins' 96 points in the standings were the most ever by a team that failed to qualify for the postseason. Boston fired general manager Peter Chiarelli on April 15. Chiarelli had hired Julien and given the coach a contract extension, which will start next season, last fall. Bruins President Cam Neely said it would be up to the next general manager to determine Julien's fate.
''I was just waiting to see if that was going to be a good match and it turned out to be,'' Julien said of Sweeney, who had been assistant general manager before he was promoted May 20.
Sweeney eventually determined that Julien and his entire staff was worthy of returning next season and made an official announcement at the NHL Combine in Buffalo on June 5.
Julien has a record of 351-192-79 in eight seasons with Boston. He led the Bruins to a Stanley Cup in 2011 and an Eastern Conference championship in 2013. Julien won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in the 2008-09 season.
Most important for Sweeney and Julien was agreement on style of play and what changes needed to be made to improve the Bruins' performance.
''The game evolves, the rules change. Again, the personnel of your team changes,'' Julien said. ''So you make adjustments accordingly.''