BOSTON — Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien was fired Tuesday morning after 10 years on the job.
Julien, 56, had been the NHL’s longest-tenured coach and is the Bruins’ all-time leader in coaching victories with 419. He guided the team to a Stanley Cup championship in 2011, the Bruins’ first title in 39 years.
“I want to thank Claude for his service to the Boston Bruins, and wish him and his family the best in the future,” Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs said in a statement. “I am confident in the direction and vision that (general manager) Don (Sweeney) has for our team, and look forward to seeing the results on the ice.”
Bruce Cassidy will replace Julien as the team’s interim coach.
This season, Boston (26-23-6, 58 points) is fourth in the Atlantic Division standings and ninth in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins have missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.
“These decisions are not easy, and Don has my full support,” Bruins president Cam Neely added. “I believe that we have a better team than our results to date show. I also recognize that there are areas that we as a group need to improve upon.
“This decision does not in any way diminish Claude’s legacy as a Bruins coach. I would like to wish him and his family all the best moving forward.”
The timing of Julien’s firing drew criticism as it came on the morning of the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl championship parade. Sweeney apologized and said the decision “wasn’t intended to take anything away from the Patriots celebration,” according to Comcast SportsNet New England’s Joe Haggerty.
Julien was named the 27th head coach of the Bruins on June 21, 2007 and enjoyed a successful run on the bench, the team reaching the Stanley Cup Playoffs seven times during his nine full seasons.
In 2008-09, Julien won the Jack Adams Award honoring the league’s best coach.
Under Julien, the Bruins went 419-246-94 and reached the Stanley Cup Finals twice — after beating the Vancouver Canucks in seven games in 2011, the Chicago Blackhawks bested Boston in six in 2013.
Cassidy, 51, joined the Bruins as an assistant this season after spending the last five coaching the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League, going 207-128-45 and making the Calder Cup Playoffs in all five campaigns.
He spent two seasons coaching in Washington from 2002 to 2004, leading the Capitals to a 47-47-9-7 mark. The Ottawa, Ontario, native also served as an assistant with the Blackhawks during the 2005-06 season.