BOSTON â€“ After two successful seasons as head coach with the Boston Bruins, the team announced that Claude Julien has been signed to a multi-year contract extension.
Since taking over the helm in 2007-08, Bruins fans have seen a huge improvement thanks in part to Julienâ€™s system. In those two years, the Black and Gold have gone 94-48-22, have made the playoffs both years and last season they compiled 116 points, which was tops in the Eastern Conference.
This season, Julien was the recipient of the Jack Adams Award, which is given to the coach of the year in the NHL.
â€œClaude has shown a tremendous propensity to get the maximum result for the team,â€ said Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli during todayâ€™s press conference. â€œHeâ€™s a guy who is a roll up the sleeves type of guy that connects with the players and I think he commands a respect that a coach needs to get to be successful.
â€œWeâ€™re very happy that heâ€™s in the mix for yearâ€™s to come and again I look forward to working with him for the future years.â€
Julien has gotten the most out of his players since day one. Players such as Marc Savard, Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara and Michael Ryder have all benefited from playing for Julien.
On top of that, the Bruins have been very consistent in the two years and have made the leap from eighth place in the Eastern Conference in 2007-08â€”where hockey pundits had few expectationsâ€”to finishing as the top team in the East in 2008-09. While many people predicted the Bruins to be in the playoffs last year, few expected them to finish where they were.
However, while Julienâ€™s system should get the credit it deserves, he and his coaching staff should also get credit for dealing with the players on a consistent basis according to Chiarelli.
â€œItâ€™s not all about the system,â€ said Chiarelli. â€œItâ€™s how about the coaches deal with the players in certain situations. These men are young men who continue to improve on the ice and off the ice in a hockey perspective.
â€œWhile the players form the team, the coach is a bond that makes them. The system and how the coaches treat the players end up benefiting as a result.â€
With the success from last year, that is not the case. A lot is expected from the Bruins in 2009-10, who were eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference semifinal last year.
â€œI think what the fans expect from our hockey team, is exactly what we all expect from our hockey club,â€ said Julien. â€œIts not expectations that are beyond what we want to accomplish. For me I have no issues with that; I hope to be part of the group thatâ€™s going to get even more results.â€
With Training Camp starting a week from tomorrow, the preparation begins for the upcoming season as the Bruins try to meet those expectations.