The Montreal Canadiens have fired their head coach Claude Julien as well as associate coach Kirk Muller. General Manager Marc Bergevin appointed assistant Dominique Ducharme as the interim head coach and also named former NHL player Alex Burrows an assistant on Ducharme’s staff. Burrows was previously an assistant coach with the AHL’s Laval Rocket who is Montreal’s minor league affiliate.
This move is a very odd one since the Montreal Canadiens are having a successful season. They are currently 9-5-4 and are in fourth place in Scotia’s North Division. Even though they have had struggles as of late, going 1-2-2 in their last five games, the Canadiens are still in the thick of things in the North Division playoff push.
The firing of Claude Julien is looking like a scapegoat for GM Marc Bergevin. The Canadiens have not been the NHL’s gold standard since the early 90s partly due to Bergevein’s mediocre roster building. So why would Bergevin fire his head coach while his team is in a playoff race? That answer remains to be seen.
Julien’s Options Moving Forward
Julien should be able to find a coaching job rather quickly. Teams that could be looking for a new head coach include the Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Dallas Stars, and Nashville Predators. Julien won the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in the 2010-2011 season and has a record of 667-445-10-152. He is also the recipient of the 2008-2009 Jack Adams Award for best Head Coach in the NHL.