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Julien Supports NHL Decision on Rome

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- Asked about the NHL's decision on the four game suspension given to Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome for his season-ending hit on Boston forward Nathan Horton, Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said, "Well, I don't think I've ever changed my approach on that.


"I said all along, whether it was the first incident in this series, I like to leave things up to the NHL to rule on those things and you move on.

"I don't want that job, to be honest with you. It's a tough job," he said.

The B's have a tough job ahead of them as well; Horton suffered a severe concussion and will miss the remainder of the Stanley Cup Final.

"They made a decision," explained Julien during an off day availabilty in Boston University's Case Gymnasium. "I think it's important for our whole league to protect our players from those kind of hits."

Those kind of hits have landed players like Patrice Bergeron, Marc Savard and Horton in the hospital and Julien spoke about the difficulty of regulating his sport's physical nature.

"The physicality of the game has to stay there," said Julien. "I think what they ruled on is hits.

"Both teams -- which I respect for doing that -- said it was a late hit and [Horton] ended up with a severe concussion.

"Whether they agree with the suspension or not, I think we're both on the same page as far as we're trying to take those kind of things out of the game." - Claude Julien
"Whether they agree with the suspension or not, I think we're both on the same page as far as we're trying to take those kind of things out of the game," he said.

The Bruins, like many teams, have been on both sides of the equation.

"I've been one of those guys that's been very supportive of that throughout the whole year, even when it was our player that got suspended, such as [Daniel] Paille," said Julien. "I said, we're trying to get this out of the game.

"You can't be hypocritical about those kind of things and that's what I'm trying to do here."

As a player, Julien worked in an era where players policed themselves on the ice.

"Well, that's the way the game has gone now," said Julien. "They've kind of taken that policing out of the game for reasons that they feel is right. They've taken control of that.

"I think it's important that they stay with it. Again, these are tough decisions to make, especially in the Stanley Cup Final. You're suspending a guy for the rest of the series, so it's not an easy decision to make.

"There's no doubt, again, being on the other side, I'm not going to say it's not an easy thing to swallow for a team to have their player lost for the rest of the Final."

Since his time on the ice, Julien said the game has changed and so have the players.

"You have to remember in the days where players were policing themselves, I'm not sure the players were as strong, as big and quick as they are today," said Julien. "The game has changed a lot in regards to that, so somehow we've got to...make some changes to the rules, adapt to what it has become, and understand that the hits today are a lot harder than they were 30, 40 years ago."

But Julien said hockey should remain a contact sport.

"You can't take the contact out of the game," said Julien. "Just have to try to take those situations where it becomes extremely dangerous out of the game."
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