Well, it looks like they finally did it. According to an official statement from the Boston Bruins, the team has relieved Claude Julien of his duties as the head coach of the team. In the mean time, the Bruins will slap on the interim title to Bruce "Butch" Cassidy.
Claude Julien was hired during the 2007-2008 season and was the most tenured head coach with one team in the NHL. He was able to win a Stanley Cup in the 2011 season and bring the Bruins back from the dead for the first time since the 1970s and 1980s. Unfortunately, Julien and company were not able to make the playoffs for the past two seasons and look to be on a collision course to miss them yet again this season.
Claude was able to put together a record of 419-246-94 and a .614 winning percentage in 759 games behind the bench for the Bruins. He is the all-time leader in wins for the Boston Bruins, as well as having the record for the most postseason wins in club history with 57.
The man replacing Julien, Butch Cassidy, has a very similar background to the former Bruins head coach and will bring an eerily similar style of hockey to the club. Cassidy was a minor league defenseman and has been in coaching for the past 20 years. Most Bruins fans knew something was up with Julien after Cassidy was promoted to an assistant coaching role with the team after being the head coach of Providence for the past five seasons.
To me, this is absolutely the wrong move. I will say this until the day I die, but I truly believe Claude Julien was not the problem for the Boston Bruins. He is being used as a scapegoat, plain and simple. You don't amass 400+ wins and win a Stanley Cup unless you are very good at your job. The players are not performing and Don Sweeney and Cam Neely did not give Julien the right players in order for him to succeed.
I know that hockey is trending in a different direction from the Big Bad Bruins that we are all accustomed to, but it is still there, and it will be there for a couple more seasons. Guys can fight. Guys can bang bodies in the corners. That isn't going anywhere for a little bit. And anyways, if the Bruins cannot win games because they don't have enough talent, why can't they at least beat the hell out of teams in the meantime?
To make matters worse, the Bruins have scheduled a press conference to address the media at 11:30 AM today, which is smack dab in the middle of the Patriots Super Bowl parade. Talk about cowards. That move is a disservice to Claude Julien and should make every player on the bench for the Bruins extremely angry. I am extremely interested to see how guys like Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron react to this news, as this has really been their only head coach as a professional hockey player.
This team and franchise are falling into a direction that should make true fans of the black and gold sick to their stomach. This is an extremely sad day for hockey fans in Boston.