Canadiens fire Therrien; appoint Julien as head coach
Brayton J. Wilson Reporting
With 24 games left in the 2016-17 season, the Montreal Canadiens have made a change at head coach.
On Tuesday afternoon, general manager Marc Bergevin announced that the team has appointed former Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien as the new bench boss in Montreal. Michel Therrien has been relieved of his duties as head coach.
It will be Julien's second tenure as head coach in Montreal, after spending the first three seasons of his coaching career with the Canadiens from 2003 to 2006. Julien went 72-62-10-15 in 159 games coached before heading on to jobs with the New Jersey Devils and the Bruins. It is also the second time Julien comes in to coach the Canadiens after they have relieved Therrien as head coach.
Julien is three games away from coaching his 1,000th career game, and has a career record of 538-332-10-117.
This season, the Canadiens are sitting atop the Atlantic Division with a 31-19-8 record and 70 points. Montreal sits six points ahead of the Ottawa Senators in the Atlantic, but are five games ahead on the schedule. Montreal started the season red-hot going 13-1-1 in the first 15 games of the season. Since the 2017 calendar year has started, the Canadiens have struggled under Therrien going 9-10-2 in 21 games and 3-6-1 in their last 10 games played.
Therrien helped lead the Canadiens to a 194-121-37 in his second tenure in Montreal. The Habs also made the playoffs in the first three seasons under Therrien, but never made it past the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Canadiens will next play on Saturday when they host the Winnipeg Jets at the Bell Centre. The Bruins and Canadiens will not meet again in the regular season.