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Transcript: 07.24 GM Peter Chiarelli and Head Coach Claude Julien Press Conference

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins


July 24


Peter Chiarelli opening statement...
When we made the commitment to try and keep the core of this team together following our Cup win, we embarked on signing some key players before free agency and we feel that we’ve come a long way to keeping this critical mass together for this team, because I believe it’s a strong team and will continue to be a strong team. One of the core components of this – of this critical mass, is sitting beside me in our coach, Claude Julien, and we’re happy to announce his extension today. As a manager I know when I want to add a player to our mix, I know when I have complete confidence in Claude and his staff in that players will become better and it helps, it helps me as a manager and - you can look at the progression of players that we’ve brought into this lineup and has made this team better and it’s a testament to Claude and his staff, so that makes my job a lot easier. Over his tenure here he’s shown the ability to adapt. He has a very, very disciplined team – and that’s again a testament to his coaching. Yet at the same time his team is a very tough team, and that’s a very difficult balance to maintain and he’s been able to do that with success. Technically he’s one of the best if not the best coaches in the league. A couple years ago we asked him, we needed more team speed. Sometimes it’s hard to just go out and get team speed as a manager and he changed his neutral zone breakout and we had more team speed and that helped us jump start us into the – into winning the Cup. I believe we have one of the best breaking out teams in the league - it’s like clockwork and when it’s going it’s a beauty to watch. I believe we have one of the best defensive zone coverage’s in the league. And that’s, again, a testament to him. And having said all of these defensive accomplishments, you only have to look back at our goals scored over the few years – the last few years that we have the ability to score too and to defend. So all these areas I’m very happy with and again it’s a testament to Claude and his ability to adapt and change when he sees the game trending in certain ways, we have discussions over the course of the year and over the summer and he’s able to adapt so I think that’s a great attribute of Claude. So having said all of that I’m very happy to announce his extension but I want to remind you of one thing. We’re keeping this core together. I feel strongly in this core. I feel strongly in Claude. We will continue to improve, and we will continue to look at all facets of our game to improve. That’s our mandate, and that’s my mandate and we will continue to do that and we’re happy to have Claude along for the ride.

Claude Julien opening statement...
Well first of all, I want to thank the Jacobs family for obviously, as owners they also have the confidence to keep me here and I want to thank them and obviously Peter and his group for showing that same confidence in me. Number one, I’m extremely happy to remain here in Boston. Love the organization, love the city, I think my family's extremely happy here so I couldn’t ask for a better situation for myself personally. Having said that, I think the one thing that I said when I first came here was my goal was to try and win a Stanley Cup here in Boston. We’ve accomplished that. Now my goal is to win another Cup for this Boston franchise. I remain hungry. I think I remain committed and dedicated to understanding that the expectations here in Boston are always very high and I love that kind of standard because again that’s what makes you a better coach, that’s what makes you a better team. And I intend on making that happen and continue to make that happen as we move forward here. So again I want to thank everyone here for giving me that confidence in moving forward I’m extremely happy to remain here and being able to continue to coach the guys that I really enjoy coaching.

On the assistant coaching staff being renewed (Kevin Dupont)…
Peter Chiarelli
We’re going to sit down – Claude and myself – and evaluate. I’m satisfied, I’m happy with the job that they’ve done but we’re going to sit down and evaluate and go through our coaches and I’d anticipate getting them resigned at some point this summer.

On the hesitation of maybe not signing Claude Julien last summer following the Cup (Brendan Hall)…
Peter Chiarelli
There was really no hesitation. He was entering into – this summer he was entering into the final year of his term so that’s kind of what prompted that. But there was really no hesitation. That’s why we did it now.

On what accomplishments – besides the Cup – his is proud of with Boston and what the organization has been able to accomplish during his time here (Joe Haggerty)…
Claude Julien
Well, there’s a lot of things, I think number one was my first year that I came to Boston and coming off a rough the season the season before, and coming in there and losing Patrice Bergeron probably around ten games in, Marc Savard at the end of the year when he had that back injury and you had to rely on guys like David Krejci was in his first full pro year I guess in Boston to lead the charges and then what we had was a hard working team, a real blue-collar type team and those are the things that I think the fans remember from that year is how hard we worked to make the playoffs and bringing Montreal to seven games. Game 6 here where people talked about it quite a bit. I think that was great, it’s not always about winning Stanley Cups but also certain things that make the fans proud of their team, and I think that was my first year, I really felt proud of that group of guys who, maybe talent wise we didn’t really pair up with most of the great teams but we certainly worked hard to make the playoffs and then deserved to make them. So that was I think a good starting point and afterwards, I think that gave Peter and his group a clear vision of what we needed to do to move forward because I think we had gotten the most out of our players that year and they were able to identify what needed to be improved and since then, have done a great job of filling into his holes and we just keep getting better and better and right now every year we’ve been a very competitive team. There’s been a lot of things that have been accomplished. You talk about winning the Cup but also how we’ve done it. We’ve had our share of disappointments, which we’ve talked about a lot but at the same time it’s also made our team stronger and so there’s a lot of things that happen during the season that sometimes can appear negative and they are at the time, but by the end of the year they become positive things and I think our players have done a great job of adapting as Peter mentioned, we’ve had to adapt to certain things at times during the season that had to – that would make us a better team moving forward. The group of players and the leadership group that we have is extremely good at buying in and making sure that the whole team follows. So there’s a lot of good going on here and I think that’s why Peter has mentioned he’s trying to keep this group together. And having said that, as a coach I also know we have to keep improving and there’s certain areas that have to get better and we’re going to keep working on those areas and certainly make this team a real exciting team for the years to come and also a team that’s going to try and thrive to win another Cup for this city.

On Peter Chiarelli’s reaction to the New York Rangers getting Rick Nash (FOX 25 Sports)…
Peter Chiarelli
Well he’s a good – real good – player. Very good goal scorer. Big, strong player. I don’t really get into details as far as our negotiations, our discussions with Columbus. The fact that the Rangers got him, I think it’s going to help their team. And they’re obviously in our conference and we play them more than we would play a team in the Western Conference so – goes to my earlier comment, “We’re going to continue to improve,” I don’t want it to be misconstrued by just keeping the core intact that we’re standing pat here and when rivals make moves like that, when Philly has the offer sheet on [Shea] Weber – I don’t lose sight of that stuff and knowing that these are good teams that are getting better. So our foundation, our team right now, is quite good. And we got some things that we may do at a later point, we may wait until later this season. We’re not standing still. And with the Weber thing, the Nash thing, those are things that we certainly don’t ignore – we don’t react right away – but we certainly don’t ignore.

On the core of the team being kept together and the challenges to bringing back the same group (Mike Loftus)…
Claude Julien
That’s a good question because the one thing you try to do as a coach is you try and keep things fresh. And there’s times where - in the season, coaches are going to sit together and say “Okay these are the kind of things we want to accomplish as a team, now what kind of things can we bring into practice that’ll be different, that’ll give them a fresh look instead of saying here we go again?” Same thing as Peter mentioned earlier, we changed our neutral zone regroup so we could get more speed and every year you try and attack certain areas that will maybe change just a little bit to give guys a fresher look and that’s how you keep your team interested and intact and hopefully competitive.

On if he will release how many years the contract extension is for (Jim Gomez)…
Peter Chiarelli
We’re not going discuss that.

On if he knows what Dougie Hamilton’s status would be if there were a lockout (Steve Harris)…

Peter Chiarelli
I don’t. But what I can tell you from a previous, a previous work stoppage is that those players that are under 20 and have been in the Canadian Hockey League generally go back.

On if Hamilton could come back if he goes to that league (Steve Harris)…
Peter Chiarelli
Again, that’s part of the transitions rules. If there’s a work stoppage, all that stuff will get sorted out but I don’t have anything – any more clarity on that other than what I’ve known in the past. But just to your point on Hamilton, you’re asking about refreshing and all of that stuff. One of the things that we’ve accomplished that Claude has accomplished is we’ve brought youth into our lineup and allowed them to develop and succeed rather than throw them into the fire right away and all – Dougie Hamilton, we would hope that he would get into our lineup and fall into that category. Our forward group’s average age is 27 years old, we still have a young forward group so they’re still growing too and they’re learning from these challenges including the disappointment from last year and Claude has been good with these younger guys and it’s – I’m not a coach but Claude can speak to this – I think it’s more difficult sometimes to at this stage that mid-twenties stage for these players to really harness them and get them to where you want them to be as opposed to a veteran who’s been around a bit.

On Julien and the coaching staff’s ability to lead and the players understanding of Julien’s coaching style and leadership (Mike Petraglia)…
Peter Chiarelli
Leadership in a coach manifests itself different ways with different people. To me, I like to talk about a coach’s persona and his persona here in a venue like this and his persona in the room. And it’s about commanding respect, and it’s about motivating the players in a respectful way and a professional way. It’s about the ideas, the formats, the approaches. It’s all professional and it’s all to an end, and there’s a plan. And Claude’s ability to have that persona and to have players respect what he stands for, and to then be able to deliver that message in a way that engages them, that’s what I see as leadership and that’s what Claude has. And part of that leadership - a large part of that leadership - is character.

Claude Julien
Well the one thing, and you’ve probably some of you have probably heard him say that before, one thing I’ve always believed in is a fine line that exists between respect and authority. And I think respect goes both ways and you, I think with our players it’s pretty obvious that, you know, I have respect for them and they seem to have respect for me and yet, when it’s time to put your foot down and show some authority, because you’ve accomplished that, there’s belief. And I think our guys believe in what we’re trying to do and there’s times where I’m certainly able to walk around the room and joke around with the players and have a little bit of fun with them. But there’s also that time where game time comes around and it’s about business and we’re able to turn that switch on to that authority part and the respect that I think is extremely important. And that still exists to this day in this dressing room and I realize as a coach, when you’ve been here for five years and you’re going to be here for more, you got to continue to make that thing happen and that’s a challenge that I take on every year and that I’ve been able to maintain.

On the improvements the other Eastern Conference teams are making (Mike Giardi)…
Claude Julien
Well, at the end of the day, when you look at it, it’s about team. And whether certain players come in your lineup, it doesn’t mean that it’s always going to work. I think, you’ve seen teams in the past that have loaded up with extremely skilled players and yet, nothing was accomplished that they had hoped for. So, I’m one of those guys that believes in, and I think my example was my first year here. If you really look at the talent we had and that first year compared to now, and we still made the playoffs, it’s because of team. And that goes a long way. So they can do that, and there’s no doubt they improve, but they still have to show it and my confidence right now is that this team is capable of playing against any team in this league and still with this lineup that we have right now, it still is, and if there’s improvements to be made, I have full confidence that Peter and his group have always gone out and made the appropriate changes that needed to be made for us to keep staying competitive.

On how he has evolved as a coach (Douglas Flynn)…
Claude Julien
I think you evolve every year that you coach and, you know, I’m one of those guys that always said that the minute you feel that you know it all, is when you got to retire. Most of the guys that know it all are retired, right? But I keep trying to improve every year. Whether it’s through making changes and whether it’s something you guys see or whether it’s things I do in the dressing room or preparation or whatever. You’re always trying to improve and changes things. As I said, keep them fresh. But, I think I’ve yet to have that opportunity with being here five years to grow immensely as a coach. My philosophy, or my approach to the game hasn’t changed, although I’ve tweaked certain areas to make ourselves better but you go in with a certain personality and a certain belief and you stick with that. And having said that, it doesn’t mean you don’t change things but you stick with your philosophy. And I believe that a well-balanced team is a good team. Again, Peter mentioned defensively, our team has always been pretty solid, and offensively, I think our team has been pretty solid as well. When you look at where we finished in goals scored, areas we need to improve, I think we’ve talked about it quite a bit – we’re very aware of it and we’re going to continue to work on that part of our game. And we’re going to continue to make it better.

On if there are any more team singings or moves he expects to make this summer (Joe Haggerty)…
Peter Chiarelli
I think there’s a good chance that this will be our roster going into camp. I think there’s a good chance. There’s a lot of the summer left, there’s a lot of stuff that has to happen on a macro basis too. So, I really, if anything right now, there’s - in my mind - there’s more uncertainty as far as the global landscape and us in the global landscape. I guess what I’m saying is, I think anything can happen depending on how things unfold, but there’s a good chance that this will be our roster going into the training camp.

On the challenge of coaching the team this year without Tim Thomas (Joe Haggerty)…

Claude Julien
Well, you know, we lost a guy by the name of Marc Savard who led our team in scoring every year and we were able to adapt. I see that as a same kind of a challenge. There’s no doubt, nobody’s going to deny what Tim’s done here for our hockey club over the years but we’ve mentioned that Tuukka is a very capable goaltender. He’s got his opportunity to showcase that this year and I think when I saw Khudobin play, whether it was training camp or whether it was when he was with us that game in Ottawa, practice, you can see a goaltender who has not only improved but has matured. And I honestly have a lot of confidence in our goaltending and, you know, obviously, we drafted, we’ve signed a few goaltenders as well. I think our depth is there. I don’t really see that as an issue. And that’s because I have the confidence in what I have in front of me right now.

On the progress of the players who have been injured (Mike Loftus)…
Peter Chiarelli
I haven’t talked to our training staff lately, but Nathan Horton has been cleared for contact and by all accounts from our medical staff will be ready to play when it comes time to play. Adam McQuaid has been completely cleared. [Tyler] Seguin is on his road to recovery in the original time frame and it may be sooner than that. And the same applies for [Anton] Khudobin.

On Patrice Bergeron’s status (Mike Loftus)…
Peter Chiarelli
Yeah, that’s completely healed; I think that’s it.

On his longevity with the Bruins and how his stay relates to what Lindy Ruff and Barry Trotz do in regards to longevity with an NHL team (Kevin Dupont)…
Claude Julien
Well there’s no doubt right now they’ve [Ruff and Trotz] have to be my idols. I’d love to be able to do the same thing they did. And I say that sincerely. I love it here and my goal is to continue to coach here and I’m going to do the best I can in order to make that happen. And I think some of the things I just mentioned about when you try to keep yourself and your players fresh, you know, when you continue to earn the respect of the players by being the type of person that you should be and them understanding your role as well, I think that’s important and that’s what will create those kinds of things. But personality of a coach is one thing with the players, but the other thing too is, I really think that, making sure you evolve with the game. I think it’s changed over the years, we all know that. And, I look back at a guy like Scotty Bowman who lasted, even though he went through different teams as well, he lasted a long time as a great coach because he was bale to adapt with the game. And, you know, I’m not that narrow-minded that I don’t realize that stuff. And I continue to try and learn every time or every year that I’m out there. And there’s certain teams that will make changes and, you know, Peter mentioned the example of us changing our neutral zone regroup - well, teams all of a sudden see that and they have to adapt to how to defend against that. Same thing happens from our side of it. When teams either defend a certain way or attack a certain way, you’ve got to evolve with the game and find ways to get through that. And I think that’s what you have to do as a coach to remain consistent, is keep things fresh and make sure that players know that you are trying to make your team better all the time. And that’s what, that would be what I would try and do to try and keep some stability in my personal life and remain here as long as I can.

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