Claude Julien Wins The Sporting News NHL Coach of the Year

Mark MarinoSenior Analyst IMay 20, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 14:  Head coach Claude Julien of the New Jersey Devils looks on against the Philadelphia Flyers at Continental Airlines Arena on October 14, 2006 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Devils won 3-2. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

Thirty-nine coaches and executives throughout the NHL voted, as The Sporting News named Boston Bruins Head Coach, Claude Julien, Coach of the Year.

Julien was hired as the man behind the bench in Boston on June 19, 2007—becoming the 28th coach in Bruins franchise history. Two successful seasons later, and Coach Claude rightfully deserved this award.

"One mans trash is another mans treasure."

Julien began his NHL coaching career with the Montreal Canadiens—leading the Habs to two fourth-place seasons in the Eastern Conference. In his first full season with Montreal in 2003-04, Julien and the Canadiens notched 93 points in the regular season before losing in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Julien was eventually fired in January of 2006, as GM Bob Gainey replace him of his duties. The Canadiens lost in the first round to the sixth-seedand eventual Stanley Cup winners—Carolina Hurricanes.

Next stop: New Jersey Devils.

Claude Julien was hired as Head Coach of the Devils on June 13, 2006, before being abruptly fired by GM Lou Lamoriello on April 2, 2007 with just three games remaining in the regular season. Despite the 107 point season, Lamoriello took over the coaching duties as the second-seeded Devils lost in the Semifinals 4-1 to the Ottawa Senators.

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Next job: Meet Peter Chiarelli and the Boston Bruins.

Julien brought the B's back to the playoffs in 2008 for the first time since the 2003-04 NHL season. The Bruins ended the season with 41 wins, 94 points and the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Although Boston were bounced in the first round by their bitter rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, who could forget the heart and determination on that team? Down 3-1, Boston fought back to tie the series at 3-3, before ultimately losing Game Seven in Montreal.

Nonetheless, Boston was a hockey city once again.

From eighth place to first place, Julien and the Bruins had a remarkable season this year—including his first All Star appearance as Head Coach of the Eastern Conference team in January.

53-19-10 in 2008-09—Julien has accumulated a 94-48-22 record in his first two seasons as the Bruins Head Coach with back-to-back playoff appearances.

Rightfully deserving of Coach of the Year, congrats, Claude.

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