Canadiens fire Michel Therrien, name Claude Julien head coach

Ian McLaren 5d ago
Bill Wippert / National Hockey League / Getty

The Montreal Canadiens have named Claude Julien as their new head coach after relieving Michel Therrien of his duties Tuesday afternoon.

"I would like to sincerely thank Michel for his relentless work with the Montreal Canadiens over his eight seasons behind the bench, including the last five seasons when we worked together," general manager Marc Bergevin wrote in a statement. "The decision to remove Michel from his coaching duties was a difficult one because I have lots of respect for him.

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"I came to the conclusion that our team needed a new energy, a new voice, a new direction," he continued. "Claude Julien is an experienced and well respected coach with a good knowledge of the Montreal market. Claude has been very successful as an NHL coach and he won the Stanley Cup. Today we hired the best available coach, and one of the league's best. I am convinced that he has the capabilities to get our team back on the winning track."

Julien, of course, was let go by the rival Boston Bruins on Feb. 7. This will be his second tour of duty as head coach of the Canadiens, a post he held from 2003-06.

During his tenure with the Bruins, Julien amassed a record of 419-246-94 in 759 regular season games, leading the club to a Stanley Cup in 2011, another appearance in the final in 2013, and the 2013-14 Presidents' Trophy. He also won the Jack Adams in 2008-09, and became the winningest coach in Bruins' history.

Therrien, meanwhile, led the Canadiens to an Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 2014. While Montreal got off to a 13-1-1 start this season, a recent swoon - and, more importantly, Julien's sudden availability - appears to have prompted a change behind the bench.