Published: Thu, February 16, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Montreal Canadiens Fire Therrien, Hire Julien

Montreal Canadiens Fire Therrien, Hire Julien

Canadiens owner Geoff Molson has made it pretty clear the franchise must have a bilingual coach and if Julien hadn't been fired by the Boston Bruins on February 7, I think Therrien would still be coaching the Canadiens - at least for a few more games.

Therrien is the fifth coach to be fired this season, following Julien, Ken Hitchcock (by the Blues), Jack Capuano (Islanders) and Gerard Gallant (Panthers).

Sorry, but if the Canadiens were to win the Cup under Julien this season, that wouldn't harm the Bruins or make their decision to fire Julien look worse. The Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups, an National Hockey League record, while the Bruins have won six. With a reputation as one of the league's best coaches, and the understanding that his coaching ability was not necessarily the reason he was sacked, he may welcome multiple job options this coming summer.

Bergevin reportedly requested permission from the Bruins on Sunday to speak with Julien - the same day that Boston shut out Montreal 4-0, and just days after Bergevin met in private with veterans Max Pacioretty, Carey Price and Shea Weber - and without Therrien.

He was also fired and replaced by Julien 46 games into the 2002-03 season. The fans and media in Montreal are demanding and Therrien had made his fair share of enemies in both groups. Boston is 6 points behind the Canadiens in the Atlantic, and will likely have a chance to win the division.

The 56-year-old Julien accumulated a 72-62-10-15 record during his first tenure with the Habs, and was oddly enough Therrien's replacement the first time he worked for the Canadiens. Julien now starts his second tour with Montreal, hoping to get the Atlantic Division leaders back on track.

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Fired by the Bruins on February 7, Julien was hired by Montreal (31-19-8) on Tuesday after the Canadiens fired Michel Therrien.

"I'm disappointed. We had been here for 10 years (in Boston) and there's a lot at stake and you talk about your kids and your family and that is more important than the work". Many feel the only reason that Therrien lasted as long as he did is because whoever they replaced him with had to be fluent in French. Surely, the roster wasn't as talented now as it was in the two trips to the Cup Finals in 2011 and 2013, but it was stunning to watch the Bruins go from President's Trophy winners to DNQs for the playoffs the next two seasons.

"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.

Will Julien immediately make the Canadiens a better team this time?

Recently replaced coaches have faced their former teams six times in the post-season, and each time, they've made their former team pay.

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