WILMINGTON, Mass. -- It's one thing to declare one's devotion to a team and it's another thing to back up those words.
Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien chose to prove his commitment to Boston by waiting out the organization twice -- when the Bruins searched for a general manager and when new GM Don Sweeney took time to evaluate the entire operation -- and it paid off.
Sweeney and the Bruins reciprocated Julien's dedication by announcing last week the coach and his entire staff would be retained to start the 2015-16 season. The Bruins fired GM Peter Chiarelli, who hired Julien in 2007, on April 15 and promoted Sweeney from assistant GM on May 20.
Julien, in his first public comments since the Bruins' front-office shakeup, said Wednesday he was hopeful throughout his wait he'd be given a chance to get the Bruins back on the right track. Julien signed an extension last fall that will start with the upcoming season.
"I said right from the get go when I met with [upper management], I understand the business, you have to allow the GM time to assess and make decisions and he's got to feel comfortable too," Julien said. "So as much as it wasn't a lot of fun or easy, it wasn't frustration. It was more about understanding the situation. I understood it. I spoke with Don quite a few times and we talked about different things. So it wasn't just about one situation, which is the coach, it was about the whole situation of coaches, trainers, everything else. We went through the whole scenario of what was important for him to know. And he had to make some decisions."