Could the Bruins be going Back To The Future?

Following what proved to be the Bruins’ season-ending 6-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators Saturday, the “Fire Claude Julien” clamoring got even louder on social media and in internet chat rooms. The speculation surrounding the embattled Bruins head coach also heated up during the NHL On NBC broadcast of the Flyers-Penguins game. During the first intermission former Bruins head coach and current NBC NHL analyst Mike Milbury said he believes that Julien “will be gone” should the Flyers clinch the final spot in the Eastern conference. The Flyers ended up getting the two points they needed and now with the Bruins officially eliminated from playoff contention, the speculation on Julien will reach a crescendo in the coming days as it already has here on DirtyWaterSports with colleague Jay Kenney stating he thinks Julien should be gone.

But what’s really interesting about Milbury publicly taking a 180 on Julien — who he has repeatedly said didn’t deserve to pay the price for an “underachieving” players — is that during the Bruins-Senators game, a well-played source told DirtyWaterSports, the controversial analyst has expressed interest to return to the coaching ranks and that his first choice would be the Bruins. Milbury however, after reading this report, vehemently denied it to his NBC colleague and TSN analyst Bob McKenzie, who then tweeted his reaction.

But none the less this is not the first time Milbury’s name surfaced. He was reportedly a candidate before Julien was hired to replace Dave Lewis in 2007 and again last year when new GM Don Sweeney and the Bruins brass decided whether or not to keep Julien, who became winningest coach in team history on March 8.

“It’s no secret around the hockey world, Milbury wants that job if it opens up again,” the source said. “Now he may have a shot at it or he may not. But he’s let it be known he does.”

Milbury coached the Bruins from 1989-91 and was a longtime GM of the New York Islanders.

This same source however said that a stronger candidate for the Bruins post, should it open up, and other possible openings around the NHL, is former Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks head coach Marc Crawford. Crawford — who won a Stanley Cup with the Av’s in 1996 and most recently coached top NHL draft prospect Auston Matthews in Zurich of the Swiss League — has been very active on the airwaves lately, expressing his interest to get back behind an NHL bench. 

So with Julien still head coach and other arguably more worthy replacements out there, Milbury isn’t a shoe in (pun very much intended) by any means but there’s a chance New York Rangers fans might also need to follow this closely.