BOSTON — There’ll be no lame duck behind the Boston Bruins’ bench in the 2009-10 season.
Head coach Claude Julien, it was announced today, has been granted a multi-year extension to remain at the helm of his club, which he led to the best point total in the Eastern Conference last season.
Julien said during a TD Bank Garden press conference that getting an extension before training camp opens (next week) wasn’t his main focus. But getting this deal done still buoys him for the upcoming season.
“It is important in the way that I’m feeling the confidence of the people that are behind me,” said Julien, who had been scheduled to enter the final year of a three-year deal. “I think that’s important and it gives you the opportunity to work knowing that you’ve got that support.
“Had it gone the other way, that’s part of coaching. You go there and you still do your job. There are players that go into the last year of their contracts and they have to deal with it. I would’ve done the same thing. But there’s no doubt, to be able to feel the confidence of those people means a lot to me.”
In calling Julien a “roll up your sleeves” kind of coach, general manager Peter Chiarelli said that he was looking forward to working with the man he hired in 2007 for the foreseeable future. Chiarelli then explained the reasons he thinks Julien has succeeded in the NHL, including winning the Jack Adams Trophy as coach of the year last season.
“I think it’s his attention his detail, his preparation, his work ethic and character in carrying out those tasks. I think those things stand out,” said Chiarelli, who received his own contract extension earlier in this offseason. “The biggest thing is … he’s able to balance the interests of the players and his staff and make it enjoyable to go to work and to be challenged and to produce over a long period of time.”
Chiarelli noted that this extension does not include Julien’s staff of Geoff Ward, Craig Ramsay, Doug Houda and Bob Essensa. But the GM noted that the team will begin negotiations with those aides shortly.