On Tuesday Feb. 7, the Boston Bruins fired their head coach Claude Julien after 10 seasons at the helm.
Julien is the winningest coach in Bruins’ history, with a record of 419-246-94. He led the team to the playoffs in his first seven seasons as head coach, ending a 39-year championship drought in 2011, and brought the Bruins back to the finals in 2013. The team has missed the playoffs the last two years, and were on its way to once again missing the chance to play for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Despite Julien being one of the most successful coaches in Bruins history, this move could be seen coming due to the pressures of ownership to get back to the playoffs. However, Boston’s ownership and management have completely outdone themselves once again.
In an apparent attempt at a media dump, the Bruins announced the firing of Julien on the morning of the Patriots’ Super Bowl Parade through Boston, and called a press conference smack in the middle of the parade. The Bruins’ organization should honestly be ashamed of themselves for doing this to Claude Julien and Boston Bruins fans everywhere.
I agree that he had to be fired, but I am starting to wonder if General Manager Don Sweeney and President Cam Neely need to take a look in the mirror and hold themselves accountable for the misfortunes of the team.
It is cowardly and wrong to fire Julien while everyone in the city is celebrating the amazing Patriots win on Sunday night. There had been talk of Julien losing his job in the weeks leading up to Tuesday but it seems like the Bruins were waiting for the Patriots to win the Super Bowl to fire Julien. Sweeney and Neely don’t know how to answer the tough questions that come with the termination of the most-tenured coach in the NHL before he was relived, and one of the most decorated coaches in Bruins’ history.
They know that they haven’t done anything to improve this team following the missed playoff appearances, and they don’t want to be held accountable for it. The Bruins fail to realize that even though they might be the third or fourth most popular team in town, attempting to hide something in such gutless fashion will only serve to magnify the story. It was the easy way out of a difficult situation, and it just goes to show that the current management is just as much to blame for the recent failures as former coach Julien.
Former Providence Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy will take over this team, but they have a long way to go as long as Sweeney and Neely ignore the dysfunction that plagued this franchise when Claude Julien took over in 2007.
This press conference could have been an opportunity to explain the direction that the franchise wants to go in the next few years; however, it only added to a long list of questionable actions taken by Sweeney and Neely, and felt like a slap in the face to Bruins fans who love their team and loved their coach.