Claude Julien wasted no time crossing over.
The Boston Bruins fired Julien last week after nine-plus seasons with the organization, opening the door for Bruce Cassidy to become interim head coach of the B’s. The Montreal Canadiens clearly saw this decision as an opportunity, as they fired their own head coach, Michel Therrien, and replaced him with Julien just days after Boston parted with the 2011 Stanley Cup winner.
The development is somewhat stunning, as Julien had a lot of success in Boston before falling on some hard times over the last couple of seasons. Julien couldn’t pass up a chance to join the Atlantic Division leaders, though, especially since he reportedly landed a lucrative five-year contract from the Habs.
But was Julien’s jump from the Bruins to the Canadiens the most shocking instance in recent memory of a Boston sports figure joining a rival?
Let’s not forget that Johnny Damon signed with the New York Yankees before the 2006 season after spending his previous four seasons with the Boston Red Sox. Those four seasons, of course, included the 2004 campaign in which the Red Sox snapped an 86-year World Series drought and broke the famous “Curse of the Bambino.”
Then there was Ray Allen spurning the Boston Celtics to sign with the Miami Heat before the 2012-13 NBA season. Allen had spent the previous five seasons with the Celtics as part of Boston’s “Big Three,” alongside Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, and even won a title in green in 2008.
And finally, there was Darrelle Revis returning to the New York Jets — the team that drafted him — after spending the 2014 season with the New England Patriots. The Pats won the Super Bowl in Revis’ lone season in New England.
Thumbnail photo via Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports Images