Forty-eight hours have passed so now it’s officially my turn to give my thoughts on the dismissal of now former Bruins coach Claude Julien. 10 years with the Bruins, and I have nothing but good things to say about Claude (except one major gripe which is why I’m not too upset). 2009 Jack Adams & President’s Trophy winner, Winningest coach in franchise history, 2011 and 2013 Eastern Conference Champions and most importantly, 2011 Stanley Cup Champions. Claude was a great coach for 10 years. He came in at a time when the B’s STUNK. They hadn’t made the playoffs in a few years and the team lacked an identity. He took a team that seemed to be going through the motions and created a consistently competitive team in the East. Every year Claude was here they had the expectations to make it to the playoffs, and then some. And ultimately that was his down fall.
After a five year run as one of the premier teams in the league, the front office mismanaged its way to a roster full of AHLers, while maintaining the reputation of a playoff contender. I’ve said this before and I stand by it, this was not Claude’s fault, this is the front office’s fault. They haven’t made the right decisions down the line. They’ve held on to the old guys, cough cough Chara, too long and have found themselves in limbo between being a contender and rebuilding, which is the worst spot to be in. With the firing of Claude, they have to go all in on a rebuild. There’s only a handfull of guys left on this roster from that magical 2011 team so the magic is all but gone. It’s time for the rebuild. It’s not gonna be fun, it’s not gonna be easy, but it’s time. There are some guys in the pipeline who will be good down the road, like McAvoy, but this is a process. They missed the opportunity on trading Chara and getting something remotely good in return, so mind as well let him just ride out his career and retire a Bruin. But guys like Krejci, Rask, Backes (who was a bonehead signing) and even Bergeron, it’s time to start shopping them around to see what you can get in return.
Most are going to hate the thought of trading Bergeron, but let’s be honest he’s 31 going on 40. He’s been in the league playing big time minutes since he was 18 years old! Don’t forget that his brain is also one big hit away from being mush. And the bottom line is that he’s not producing like he should be, and the B’s would still get a TON in return for him.
But with all the losing and turmoil the past couple seasons, we can’t forget how good we had it with Claude. As I said, he’s the all time winningest coach in franchise history and brought us to the promised land for the first time in 39 years. With his departure comes new beginnings, which hopefully means a totally different system because that was my one gripe. Talk about a snooze fest for the last 10 years, let’s hope for an offensive minded coach this time around so we can actually see Marchand and Pasta’s full potential and have no more Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin ordeals. Godspeed Claude, you will be missed.
Also, Claude will be Colorado’s bench boss by next Thursday.