Claude Julien Wants To Keep Boston Bruins Rivalry Going

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin says firing Michel Therrien as head coach was a hard decision but a necessary one for the good of the organization. I am confident that he will be able to put our team back on the road to victory, "said Canadian General Manager Marc Bergevin".

Therrien's last game as head coach of the Canadiens came, ironically, against the Bruins in a 4-0 loss on February 12. And for the all the great things Julien did while coaching in Boston, including winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, the Bruins were a team in need of a coaching change. Added Julien: "Having just gone through the same thing, I know it's not a fun experience for a coach and his family".

"I didn't make my decision based on how Boston operates", Bergevin said.

"I reached the conclusion that we were at a turning point for our team and that's why I decided to make this change", Bergevin said. The Habs also made the playoffs in the first three seasons under Therrien, but never made it past the Eastern Conference Finals. If there were a job that opened up during the season that he just couldn't turn down, he would jump back into the coaching game.

This was Therrien's second stint coaching Montreal.

Often when an National Hockey League team fires its head coach - which has happened four times already this season - it is meant to be a wake-up call to players who the team's administration believes are not playing to their potential. He was in the midst of his third season as Bulldogs' coach, but was formally under contract to the Edmonton Oilers, who shared affiliation with the Bulldogs with the Canadiens that season.

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The Boston Bruins fired Claude Julien on February 7.

From January 2003 to January 2006, Julien was the Canadiens head coach.

Considering ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's report that the Habs had asked permission to speak with Gerard Gallant, it appears this decision to part with Therrien was inevitable no matter who was available. I have too much respect for all those players that had been enormous for me during my career in Boston.

The move comes as the Canadiens continue to lead the Atlantic Division by six points.

With both Bergevin and Julien speaking for the first time Wednesday since the coaching change was announced, here is a rundown of some of the issues they addressed - and must continue to in the future.

It's a situation that could well see the Bruins gift their biggest rivals a piece they've been crying out for for years - a truly excellent coach. The last time came in the winter of 2009 when the Pittsburgh Penguins replaced him with Dan Blysma and went on to win the Cup four months later. Julien won't get a chance to coach against his former team this season unless the B's and Canadiens meet in the playoffs, but assuming he's behind the Habs' bench for the five-plus years he's signed for, he'll have plenty of chances to exact some revenge for his firing.

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