Entering the final year of his contract, Bruins coach Claude Julien
was awarded a multi-year contract extension Friday.
"Claude has shown tremendous propensity to get the maximum results for our team," Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli said in a press conference at TD Garden. "To me, Claude is a roll-up-your-sleeves kind of guy that really connects with the players. I think he commands the respect that a coach needs to get to be successful while maintaining a common sense, humble approach. We're very happy that he's in the mix for years to come."
Ask any player that has played for Julien what their thoughts are on the veteran coach and you're bound to get pretty much the same answer.
"He is the type of coach that is always going to get the best out of his players," newly signed Bruins forward Steve Begin
said recently. Begin played for Julien in Montreal, and now will play for him again in Boston. "I saw that when I played for him and also playing the Bruins since he's been here. His teams never quit and they stick to the systems he puts in place. I love playing for Claude and I'm excited to do it again."
Julien won this past season's Jack Adams
Award for guiding the Bruins from eighth in the Eastern Conference in 2007-08 to first in 2008-09 with a 53-19-10 record and 116 points, a 22-point improvement from the previous season. Julien also led the Bruins to within one game of the Eastern Conference Finals as they lost to Carolina in overtime of Game 7 of the conference semifinals. It was the first time Boston had advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 1999.
In Julien's two seasons in Boston, he has compiled a 94-48-22 record.
Veteran forward Mark Recchi
, who was dealt to the Bruins at the 2009 NHL trade deadline, said Julien was everything he expected from playing against his teams and from talking to players that have played for him.
"To me, Claude is a roll-up-your-sleeves kind of guy that really connects with the players. I think he commands the respect that a coach needs to get to be successful while maintaining a common sense, humble approach. We're very happy that he's in the mix for years to come."
-- Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli
"He holds you accountable but not in a demeaning way," Recchi said. "His door is always open and he'll be there for you, but you better be there for him and your teammates or else. I could tell right away when I got there how much the players, especially the young ones, respected him and bought into his systems.
"It was just as I imagined because when you play a Julien-coached team, you see the structure and discipline on the ice and that's what I saw right away here."
Chiarelli sees the same qualities in Julien.
"I think it's his attention his detail, his preparation, his work ethic and character in carrying out those tasks. I think those things stand out," said Chiarelli. "The biggest thing is he's able to balance the interests of the players and his staff and make it enjoyable to go to work and to be challenged and to produce over a long period of time."
Julien, who claimed he would have coached the same way without the extension, still was thrilled to know he is appreciated and to have some job security.
"It is important in the way that I'm feeling the confidence of the people that are behind me," said Julien. "I think that's important and it gives you the opportunity to work knowing that you've got that support. Had it gone the other way, that's part of coaching.
"You go there and you still do your job. There are players that go into the last year of their contracts and they have to deal with it. I would've done the same thing. But there's no doubt, to be able to feel the confidence of those people means a lot to me."