Claude Julien will remain with the Boston Bruins indefinitely. GM Peter Chiarelli made that official this morning.
"Claude [Julien] has shown a tremendous propensity to get the maximum results out of our team," said Chiarelli at ths morning's press conference. "To me he’s a guy who can connect, he’s a roll-up-your-sleeves type of guy that connects with the players and I think he commands a respect that the team needs to be successful while maintaining a kind of common sense, humble approach.
"Of course he won the Adams trophy. He had a tremendous year last year, I thought the year before he was even better. We’re very happy that he’s in the mix for years to come and again I look forward to working with him for the future years."
Julien is happy to be setting up strong roots in Boston.
"There’s no doubt this is where I want to be," said Julien. "This is where I want to continue to be and to get the occasion to get to continue to do here what we’ve been doing the past few years, that’s improving, is exactly what I want to keep doing with this hockey club.
"I love the dynamic of our hockey team and certainly love the philosophy of our upper management so it was obviously an easy decision for me to want to stay here. The fact that I was given the opportunity to do that was obviously great as well."
Julie's once and future players are pleased to continue to work Julien. When he signed with the Black & Gold, Steve Begin freely admitted that having Claude behind the bench was one of the things that brought him to Boston. And earlier this week, he talked about Julien's attributes.
"[Claude] wants to win," said Begin. "He’s a great coach and I think he gets along well with the players, [and]that’s what you need...a coach that talks to his players and lets them know what’s going on.
"It’s very important. And I guess that’s what he’s been doing [in Boston}, that’s what he was doing when he was in Montreal. I had him for three years and that’s what he was doing and everybody liked him so I don’t think he’s changed a bit."
Begin said that Julien's system has made the Boston Bruins a very tough team to face.
"When we played them in the playoffs we knew they were going in the right direction because we won in the seventh game," said Begin of his Canadiens team of 2007-08. "They never quit one bit the whole playoffs."
And Begin said that attitude was apparent last season, too.
"They were so fast, they never quit, they were first to the puck, they wanted to win. When you see [Boston's] guys they want to have they puck, they want to be involved, [they] you want to win," he said.
Chiarelli also pointed to several traits that make Julien stand out.
"I think it’s his attention to detail, his preparation, his work ethic, in carrying out...tasks," said the GM. "I think that those things stand out.
"He’s able to balance the interests of the players, the staff, and make it, relatively speaking, enjoyable to go to work and to be challenged to produce over the course of a long period of time and that’s a very difficult task.
"I think any coach would say that they try and improve on that every year and they try to change things because its such a long year and such a grind, but he’s able to feel the pulse of the team and at the same time he knows when to put his foot on the pedal and take his foot off the pedal."
But look out, because here comes the gas.
"There is no doubt you get excited this time of year as players start filtering in," said Julien. "I’ve had the chance to chat a little bit with some of those players and, again, with the way the season ended last year we’re still very hungry and we want to accomplish more."