Don Sweeney Explains Timing Of Bruins’ Decision To Fire Claude Julien

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BOSTON — When the Boston Bruins announced shortly before the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl parade began that they had fired head coach Claude Julien, many speculated the timing wasn’t a coincidence. However, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney insists that’s not the case.

At the start of his press conference Tuesday, Sweeney said the timing of Julien’s termination was due to a number of factors, but the parade wasn’t one of them.

“Well, sort of like the weather in New England, I did not necessarily pick this day to take away from the great accomplishment by the New England Patriots,” Sweeney said. “But I had taken a few days to assess where we were at, and came to my decision to make a change with regards to Claude.”

In Julien’s nine-plus years with the team he amassed 419 wins, appeared in the Stanley Cup Final twice and led the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup victory in more than 40 years. After failing to make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, though, Sweeney felt a change was important for the long-term success of the franchise.

As for why the team announced Julien’s termination the same day as the Patriots’ celebration, Sweeney said it was his responsibility to justify his decision once it was made. He also noted doing so gives players a few days of practice with interim head coach Bruce Cassidy.

“We had a couple days off, and, you know, we have two days of practice here before we head off to games,” Sweeney said. “Then we have a real opportunity to sort of step back from the emotional piece of this and allow the players to get away and vacate mentally, and physically.”

Despite cutting Julien loose, Sweeney still has a lot of respect for his contribution to the team, and has no doubt he’ll land on his feet.

“Claude’s going to get a job in short order. He’s a good coach.”

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