It’s not just the broadcasters who voted for the Jack Adams Trophy who noticed what a great coaching job Claude Julien did with the Boston Bruins. The winner of the NHL coach of the year award has also caught the eye of potential free-agent acquisitions, as winger Steve Begin explained today after inking a one-year deal with the Boston Bruins.
Begin, who played for Julien with Montreal for a couple seasons, is hoping to follow the path of his former Habs teammate Michael Ryder, who signed with the Bruins last season partly to be reunited with Julien and bounced back into form after an off season in Montreal the year before.
“He listens to the players. He knows how to play, how to use you,” Begin explained in a conference call. “I think if you look at Ryder, a year ago in Montreal people thought he was done. And now he’s playing for Claude and had his best season last year. So that’s what I like with Claude. He gave me a lot of ice time too. He was playing me a lot.”
Begin was part of the Boston-Montreal rivalry for a number of years before he went to Dallas during the year last season. He famously crosschecked Bruins center Marc Savard near the end of the 2007-08 season and in last fall’s preseason he had a major fight with Shawn Thornton. Begin is looking forward to changing sides.
“It’s going to be fun to have them on my side now, and me on their side,” Begin explained. “So that’s why I’m excited too. With Montreal, it’s always big, the (Boston) game is always important and it’s fun to be on the other side now.”