|After losing Dougie Hamilton, Claude Julien says young players ask for too much too soon||06.26.15 at 11:48 pm ET|
SUNRISE, Fla. — Claude Julien lamented the fact that Dougie Hamilton wanted top dollar hours after the Bruins traded the 22-year-old star defenseman in a stunning deal with the Flames.
With statistics and big-name comps on Hamilton’s side, the defenseman’s camp sought a deal commensurate with those of other top young defensemen such as Drew Doughty and Alex Pietrangelo. The Bruins were unwilling to pay that, with a source telling WEEI.com Friday that none of Boston’s offers exceeded $6 million a year.
Julien said he understood why Hamilton wants to be paid like his peers, but he doesn’t like how soon players cash in these days.
“The players and the organization, I guess everybody’s in their right with the way CBA is,” Julien said after the first round of the draft on Friday. “As a coach, to be honest with you, I find it very unfortunate that players that have played maybe three years in the league, all of a sudden they’re looking to be up there with the top-paid players.
“I prefer it the other way, where they work their way up: years of service and everything else.
“That’s not to say he wasn’t in his right. He’s in his right. He’s entitled to do what he did. I’m not standing here blaming him at all. Would we like to have kept him? I think we would have liked to have kept Dougie Hamilton. He’s a good promising young player, but you move on.”
|Claude Julien wants to stay with Bruins as long as he’s wanted||06.10.15 at 11:29 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Claude Julien said Wednesday that the Bruins did not give him permission to talk to other teams and that he didn’t necessarily want it.
That’s a lot of faith to have in the Bruins keeping him, but Julien said his impression throughout his two-month stay in coaching purgatory was that he would be back with the Bruins.
“The impression I got from the get-go was that they were hoping to keep me and it was going to depend on the new GM,” Julien said. “And I agree: As much as you want the new GM to be comfortable with his guy, it’s the same thing. If the new GM doesn’t like me as a coach, I don’t want to be here either.
“I understood that right from the get-go when Peter was let go. Basically, I was waiting to see if that was going to be a good match and it turned out to be.”
The fact that new general manager Don Sweeney took as long as he did to make a decision on Julien suggests he could be on a short leash. Julien said he feels good about his job security based on philosophical similarities with Sweeney.
“I know a lot of speculations have been made on whether this is temporary or whatever it is,” Julien said. “But we’re really committed and determined to take this team and move forward in the right directions. Don and I have had talks and have a very, very similar outlook on what’s needed and what we want to do. There was never an issue there at all. That’s why it’s worked out. We seemed to be seeing the same things.”
Jukuen said he intends to make adjustments to his coaching style, but that he intended to do that anyway, noting that he and his assistants met two days after the season to outline their intended changes.
When pressed on what those changes were, Julien said pretty much the same thing that Peter Chiarelli said before being fired and Sweeney said after being hired: transition the puck better.
“There are things we feel we can do with the way the game has changed a little bit to help out transition game a little better,’ Julien said. ‘There was a time when our transition game was good with the way teams were forechecking.
“Teams’ forechecking has changed a lot so there are thing we feel we can do with our transition game that we feel we can do a lot better with creating some speed. We had already kind of addressed that and we’re going to introduce that into camp like we do every year. To me, those aren’t changes. Those are adjustments like we do every year.”
|Claude Julien says he feels safe working for Cam Neely||at 10:39 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Claude Julien is back for a ninth season as Bruins coach, and he said Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena that he doesn’t feel his status is temporary.
Furthermore, he said he feels safe working for B’s president Cam Neely, who has reportedly wanted to fire him in the past. The Boston Globe reported after the season that Neely wanted to relieve the coach in January.
“That’s what’s been out there. Is it the truth? That’s the biggest question,” Julien said of Neely wanting him gone.
Neely infamously said years ago that the Bruins can’t win games by a 0-0 score, something that was perceived as a shot at Julien. Both he and Julien say they’ve moved past that comment — Julien even noted they go out for drinks — but that isn’t what’s in question. What’s in question is whether Neely is going to want Julien gone again at some point.
“I think it’s foolish to think that a president is just hovering over a coach’s head, waiting [to] fire him,” Julien said. “He’s had the power, I guess, to do that, and he didn’t. I think right there and then, it’s got to tell you something. It’s not an issue for me.”
More to come from Julien.
|Poll: Were Bruins right to retain Claude Julien?||06.05.15 at 12:37 pm ET|
New Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced Friday that Claude Julien will return for his ninth season behind the bench, despite the team’s disappointing 2014-15 season that ended with no postseason. Do you agree with Sweeney’s move?
Do you agree with the Bruins' decision to retain Claude Julien?
- Yes (77%, 364 Votes)
- No (23%, 108 Votes)
Total Voters: 472
Julien’s status had been in question since the Bruins failed to make the playoffs and Peter Chiarelli was fired as GM. Although Julien is starting a three-year contract extension he signed in November of last year, there was some concern that the team was no longer responding to him and it might be time for a change from Julien’s defense-oriented approach.
When he was introduced as GM last month, Sweeney said he planned to meet with Julien to discuss the disappointing season and what changes might need to be made. Sweeney said Friday that he did not speak to any other coaching candidates before deciding to stick with Julien and his staff.
“I needed to have conversations with each and every [coach] to know we were in agreement,” Sweeney told reporters Friday. “I’m not going to apologize for taking a little time to go through the process.”
Julien, 55, has a 351-192-79 record in eight seasons in Boston. He guided the Bruins to a championship in 2011 and another Stanley Cup Final appearance two years later.
|Claude Julien’s fate with Bruins still undecided||05.20.15 at 3:01 pm ET|
While the Bruins now officially have a general manager, the situation with their head coach remains unclear.
Speaking at his introductory press conference, Boston GM Don Sweeney would not confirm whether he intends to retain or fire Claude Julien. The Bruins gave their final two general manager candidates the opportunity to meet with Julien, something Sweeney did earlier this month. Sweeney also spoke to Julien upon being promoted on Wednesday.
Both Sweeney and Julien were at a number of Providence Bruins games down the stretch as well.
“I have some things that I want to sit down with Claude and go through in a very orderly fashion,” Sweeney said. “As to where I think things need to change and to what direction we need to change as a group, and also acknowledged to Claude during this whole process that I think tremendously as a coach and as a person. It’s just about lining up philosophical approaches that I believe in, that he believes in and that we can move the group forward.
“Some of that will involve personnel decisions. Some of that will involve staff member decisions and/or changes. That’s to be determined. He’s the coach of the Boston Bruins as of today. That’s for sure.”
Speaking after the press conference, B’s president Cam Neely spoke highly of Julien and downplayed the belief that he has wanted to fire Julien at multiple points during his time as team president.
“Let me be clear. I think we have a good coach,” Neely said. “I know it’s been reported that we have a problem with our coach. I think over the years I would have liked to see some adjustments, but it wasn’t about [seeing] certain coaches available. For me, it was about making sure we were making the right decision with our GM first and then we’ll go from there.
Asked whether he felt Julien could change with the organization as it tweaks its approach to winning, Neely was noncommittal.
“He’s another smart hockey guy. He knows the game extremely well,” Neely said. “He’s had a lot of success. This is where Don is going to make those decisions with Claude as far as the adjustments that he thinks we need to make.
“This comment that I made in 2010 about [how] we can’t win games, 0-0, keeps getting played. Claude and I flushed that out in 2010. It’s 2015 now.”
Julien has been Boston’s head coach for eight seasons, reaching the postseason for seven consecutive years prior to this season. His 351 wins with the B’s put him 10 wins away from tying Art Ross for the most wins in Bruins history.
The pool of top coaching candidates has thinned, most recently with Mike Babcock‘s decision to coach the Leafs on Wednesday.
|Don Sweeney has been Bruins’ acting GM this offseason||05.09.15 at 1:52 pm ET|
The Bruins don’t have a general manager yet, but the signs continue to point toward Don Sweeney eventually getting the gig.
In fact, indications are that Sweeney is doing the heavy lifting in the Bruins’ front office as they begin the offseason. Sweeney has been the team’s acting GM recently, a source familiar with the situation told WEEI.com Saturday.
That’s not an official title, nor is it a certainty that it will become one, but it does indicate who is making the calls for the B’s as they look to improve their team from this season’s disappointing finish.
The Bruins have been without an official GM since firing Peter Chiarelli on April 15. Sweeney has picked up Chiarelli’s responsibilities for now, though everything funnels through team president Cam Neely.
This comes following a Boston Herald report that Sweeney had a lengthy meeting with Claude Julien on Friday. The Herald’s Stephen Harris deduced from that development that Sweeney could plan on keeping Julien around as head coach if and when Sweeney gets the GM job.
It is unknown where the Bruins are in the interview process as they seek Chiarelli’s replacement. ESPN’s Joe McDonald reported on May 3 that the team was entering its second round of interviews and that Sweeney remained in the mix. Jeff Gorton, a potential candidate, has not yet been allowed to interview with the Bruins, as Rangers GM Glen Sather won’t let teams talk to his assistant GM until New York is eliminated from the playoffs. The Capitals hold a 3-2 series lead over the Rangers in the second round, but Sather hinted to the New York Post earlier in the week that he still might not let teams talk to Gorton this offseason at all.
Sweeney has been in the Bruins’ hockey operations department since 2006 and was named one of Chiarelli’s assistant general managers prior to their Stanley Cup-winning 2010-11 season. Prior to his time in Boston’s front office, Sweeney enjoyed a lengthy NHL career in which he played 1,052 regular-season games and 103 playoff games for the Bruins before playing his final season with the Stars.
The fact that he’s acting as the team’s GM for now shouldn’t come as a major surprise. Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe wrote the day that Chiarelli was fired that Sweeney would get the job. Furthermore, Sweeney is one of two Bruins assistant GMs and is longer-tenured in that role than Scott Bradley, who was named one of Chiarelli’s assistants last offseason.