Claude Julien returned to the Montreal Canadiens on February 14, 2017, in his second tenure as Head Coach following nine full seasons with the Boston Bruins. With 24 games left in the 2016-17 regular season schedule, he led the Canadiens to a 24-16-7-1 record and a .688 winning percentage, atop the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens would go on to drop the first round series against the New York Rangers.
Claude began his NHL coaching career when he was appointed Head Coach of the Montreal Canadiens on January 17, 2003, replacing Michel Therrien. With Julien behind the bench, the Canadiens managed a 12-16-5 record that season. Although he spent most of the season at the NHL level, he was voted - along with his successor Geoff Ward - the AHL Coach of the Year for his achievements behind the Bulldogs' bench. Under Julien's leadership, the Hamilton Bulldogs have set or tied some 20 franchise records in 2002-03.
Julien coached his first full NHL season in 2003-04, leading the Canadiens to their best record in ten years with 93 points. He led his team to the second round of the playoffs defeating the Bruins in seven games before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in four straight games in the second round. When he returned behind the Canadiens bench following the lock-out, he led the team to a 19-16-6 record in the Northeast Division before being relieved of his duties on January 14. With the Canadiens he coached 265 games (9th in team history), winning 117 games (10th), with 109 losses, 10 ties and 29 OTL. His .515 winning percentage ranks him 19th in club history.
On June 13, 2006 Julien was named the Head Coach of the New Jersey Devils and compiled a 47-24-8 record for 102 points and a first place in the Atlantic Division in 79 games before being replaced behind the Devils bench.
In Boston he became the Bruins' all-time coaching wins leader with 419. In four of his eight seasons behind the Bruins' bench he amassed over 100 points, including a 117-point season in 2013-14. He led the team to the President's Trophy in 2013-14 and to the Stanley Cup in 2011. He also won the Jack Adams Trophy as the league's top coach in 2008-09.
Claude Julien began his coaching career in 1996 with the Hull Olympiques of the QMJHL and led that team to as 141-109-16 record and a .560 winning percentage and 266 regular season games. He led the Hull team to the Memorial Cup championship in 1997.
On the international stage he won a bronze medal as Head Coach of Team Canada at the 2000 World Junior Championship and a silver medal as Assistant Coach in 1999. He served as an Assistant Coach for the Canadian team in the 2006 World Championships and served in that same capacity as Canada earned gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Julien enjoyed a 12-year pro career as a player in the IHL, CHL, AHL and NHL levels, including two seasons with the Quebec Nordiques from 1984 to 1986. He recorded 246 points in 469 AHL games with Fredericton, Baltimore, Halifax and Moncton.