While Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien had his differences with Guy Carbonneau, he was sympathetic to Carbonneau's situation after he was dismissed as coach of the Montreal Canadiens Monday. That, after all, is a fate the two men share.
"It's never fun to hear that one of your colleagues has been let go," Julien told reporters in Columbus Tuesday. "When it comes to that, we're very supportive of each other."
Despite having a winning record at the time, much like Carbonneau had when he was relieved of his coaching duties Monday, Julien also was relieved from his duties by Canadiens GM Bob Gainey. The firing came during the second half of the 2005-06 season after Julien had produced a 19-16-6-0 record. Gainey coached the Habs to a 23-15-3-0 record and a first-round exit in the playoffs, losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes.
Since then, Julien has been fired once more, by the New Jersey Devils near the end of the 2006-07 season. So, while he was seen yelling back and forth with Carbonneau during the playoffs last spring, Julien still feels his coaching comrade's pain.
"We obviously know what we're getting into," Julien said. "It's those kinds of situations where right now you see a quarter of the teams so far change their coaches.
"At the same time, I've never met a GM who enjoyed doing it either. It's not a fun thing to do. It's not a fun place for a coach to be in. It makes for what it is. For me, you feel for the coach because in this day and age, it's not easy to deal with teams. There's a lot of pressure on teams to produce and be where they are. These are all things we know when we're stuck under that role."