|Born||April 23, 1960|
Blind River, Ontario, Canada
|6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
|Played for||Port Huron Flags (IHL) |
Salt Lake Golden Eagles (CHL)
Milwaukee Admirals (IHL)
Fredericton Express (AHL)
Quebec Nordiques (NHL)
Baltimore Skipjacks (AHL)
Halifax Citadels (AHL)
Kansas City Blades (IHL)
Moncton Hawks (AHL)
Claude Julien (born April 23, 1960) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and the current head coach of the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is the longest tenured head coach currently in the NHL. He has previously served as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens and the New Jersey Devils in the NHL, as well as in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Hamilton Bulldogs. In 2011 and 2013, he coached the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Finals, guiding the Boston team to their sixth all-time league victory in 2011.
Claude was also an assistant coach for Team Canada at the Ice hockey at the 2014 Winter Olympics-Men's tournament where he received a gold medal in Canada's victory.
Claude was an NHL defenceman for the Quebec Nordiques in the 1984 and 1986 seasons.
Prior to playing in the NHL, he had previously played in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for the Oshawa Generals and Windsor Spitfires. Additionally, he has also played in the Central Hockey League (CHL) for the Salt Lake Golden Eagles; in the International Hockey League (IHL) for the Kansas City Blades and the Milwaukee Admirals. In the AHL for the Fredericton Express, Baltimore Skipjacks, Halifax Citadels and the Moncton Hawks.
Claude began his professional coaching career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) for the Hull Olympiques, with whom he won the Memorial Cup in 1997. From 2000 to 2003, he served as head coach for the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs, the top minor league affiliate of the NHL's Montreal Canadiens.
In 2000, Claude won a bronze medal as the head coach of Canadian junior team. He also served as an assistant coach to Marc Habscheid at the 2006 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships.
NHL Coaching Career
Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils
On January 17, 2003, Claude became head coach of Montreal Canadiens. In his first full season as an NHL head coach, he led Montreal to a 93-point performance (41–30–7–4 record) and the second round of the 2004 Stanley Cup playoffs. He was eventually fired and replaced by General Manager Bob Gainey on January 14, 2006. Claude accumulated a record of 72–62–10–15 during his 3 seasons with the Canadiens.
On June 13, 2006, he was then announced as the head coach of the New Jersey Devils, becoming the 15th head coach in Devils history. On October 6, 2006, he won his first game as the Devils head coach with a 4–0 win against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Carolina Hurricanes. On November 4, 2006, Claude won in his first return to Montreal as the Devils defeated the Canadiens, 2–1. Later in the season, on April 2, 2007, New Jersey abruptly terminated him, despite the Devils' 47–24–8 record (which at the time was leading the Atlantic Division and tied for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference). New Jersey Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello said that despite the team's stellar record, he did not feel Julien had it ready for the 2007 playoffs. Lamoriello himself replaced Claude, the second straight season in which Lamoriello left the front office to coach the Devils at the end of the season. Despite the change, the Devils went on to lose in the Eastern Conference Semi-final to the Ottawa Senators.
On June 22, 2007, it was confirmed by various sports websites that Claude had been named as the 28th head coach of the Boston Bruins. During his first season as Boston coach, he led the team back to the playoffs. His team struggled with consistency over the course of the season, but this was in large part due to the many injuries that plagued the Bruins throughout the 2007–08 season. Most notably, forward Patrice Bergeron and goaltender Manny Fernandez missed almost the entire season. The Bruins were defeated in the Eastern Conference Quarter-finals by his former team, Montreal, who were coached by Guy Carbonneau, Claude's permanent replacement as head coach, in 7 games.
On February 17, 2009, Claude coached his 200th win as an NHL head coach, a 5–1 Bruins road game victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. On June 18, 2009, at the end of the 2008–09 season, he was awarded the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year.
In the 2010 playoffs, the Bruins became only the fourth NHL team to lose a best-of-seven-series after being up 3-0 when they were eliminated by the Philadelphia Flyers (the other two teams were the 1942 Detroit Red Wings and the 1975 Pittsburgh Penguins). Boston held a 3–0 lead in game 7, but the Flyers tied and eventually won the game, 4–3. Injuries to star Bruins forwards David Krejci (broken wrist), Marco Sturm (torn ACL) and Marc Savard (concussion) as well as defenceman Dennis Seidenberg (wrist) and an undisclosed injury to former Vezina-winning goaltender Tim Thomas (hip) were factors in the defeat.
The 2010–11 season saw Claude coach the Bruins to the third-seed in the playoffs and a first-round match-up against the rival Montreal Canadiens. After dropping the first 2 games at home, he made some lineup adjustments, and helped his team come back to win the series in 7 games. In the Eastern Conference Semi-final, the Bruins got a chance to redeem themselves from the previous year in a much-anticipated series against the Philadelphia Flyers. After winning Game 1, 7–3, they went on to sweep the Flyers out of the playoffs in 4-straight. In the Conference Finals, the Bruins faced off against the Tampa Bay Lightning for their first chance at a Stanley Cup since 1990. The Bruins came out victorious in their second 7-game series of the playoffs, including wins of 6–5, 2–1 and a penalty-less 1–0 win in Game 7.
The team's victory set up a Stanley Cup Final against the number-one seed Vancouver Canucks, who possessed the best statistics in offence, defence, goaltending, power play and special teams in the NHL. After a hard-fought Game 1, the Canucks scored the first goal of the game with just 18.5 seconds remaining in the third period, taking the series opener, 1–0. The Bruins (looking to rebound in Game 2) skated to a tie with Vancouver after regulation before a costly mistake by Boston captain Zdeno Chara after just 11 seconds of overtime allowed the Canucks to score the game-winning goal to take a 2–0 series lead. Back in Boston, after a rough first period in which the Bruins lost Nathan Horton to an illegal, concussive hit by Vancouver defenceman Aaron Rome, Boston exploded for four goals in the second period and four more in the third to complete an 8–1 blowout victory. The Bruins followed up that big win with another decisive victory, this time romping 4–0 over the Canucks while chasing goaltender Roberto Luongo, who had surrendered 12 goals in five periods during the two games in Boston. On June 15, 2011, the Bruins won their sixth Stanley Cup championship with a 4–0 victory in Game 7 in Vancouver.
Entering the 2011 playoffs, Claude's career playoff record in Game 7s was 1–3, with the 3 losses all coming during his tenure as Boston coach, against Montreal in 2008, Carolina in 2009 and Philadelphia in 2010. His one Game 7 victory came in 2004 as Montreal's coach, ironically against Boston. With the 2011 playoff game 7 wins against Montreal, Tampa Bay and Vancouver, he thus improved his record to 4–3. Additionally in the 2011 playoffs, Claude (now with 33 wins) passed Don Cherry (31 wins) for the most playoff wins by a Boston Bruins coach.
During the 2011–12 regular season, Claude reached multiple personal coaching milestones. On December 17, 2011, he collected his 200th regular season win as Boston's coach in a 6–0 whitewash defeat of the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Flyers. The win completed a Bruin 41-day journey from the absolute bottom of the Eastern Conference to tied for first place. On January 29, 2012, Claude (and his Bruin bench staff) coached Team Chara to a 12–9 win over Team Alfredsson in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was his second appearance and second win as an All-Star Game coach, having also appeared in the 2009 Game. On March 19, 2012, he coached his 400th game behind the Bruin bench, an 8–0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The win completed a perfect 6–0 sweep of the season series with the Maple Leafs.
The 2012 post-season, however, would not be as memorable for Claude's defending Cup champion Bruins, as they fell in the first round to the Washington Capitals and their upstart rookie goaltender Braden Holtby in 7 games. The series was the closest, most evenly fought series in NHL history with all seven games (including 4 overtime games) being one-goal decisions. After the defeat, Julien's playoff Game 7 record fell to 4–4. Despite the early exit for Boston in the playoffs, the Bruins signed Claude to a new, multi-year contract extension.
In the lockout-shortened 2012–13 season, Claude led his team to their second Stanley Cup Finals in three years. In the first round, they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games, where in the deciding Game 7, they came back from a 1–4 deficit to win 5–4 in overtime, the first time in NHL playoff history in which a team trailing by three goals in the third period went on to win Game 7 to take the series. The Bruins then eliminated the New York Rangers in five games. Matched up against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals, who were the regular season Conference champions, the Bruins swept them in four games, which included two shutouts of the normally high-scoring Penguins. In the Cup Finals, however, the Bruins lost to the first-place Chicago Blackhawks in 6 games after failing to hold on to third-period leads in their Game 1 and Game 6 losses.
In the 2013–14 regular season, the first under the League's new conference and division realignment, Julien's team won the Presidents' Trophy for the best regular season record in the NHL.
In the 2014–15 regular season, the Bruins failed to make the playoffs for the first time since Julien took over the role as Bruins head coach. On June 5, 2015, Don Sweeney, the Bruins' new general manager, confirmed that Julien and his staff would be staying on for the upcoming 2015–16 NHL regular season. During a six-game roadtrip for the Bruins as part of the team's 2015–16 season, on February 13, 2016, Julien was surprised to learn, after his Bruins team defeated the Minnesota Wild in a 4–2 road victory, that he had coached his 500th NHL winning game. Another achievement for Julien's career in coaching the Bruins would be earned less than a month later; as the result of Julien's coaching the Bruins to a 4–2 home ice win against the 2015 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on March 3, 2016, Julien's winning game total as the Bruins' head coach rose to 387 wins for the Boston team, equalling the most won Bruins games coached total of Hall of Fame member Art Ross' career as coach of the Bruins from their beginnings in 1924, through four separated periods of coaching ending in 1939. Only four days later, on March 7, with a Bruins' 5–4 overtime road victory over the Florida Panthers, Julien's win record with the Bruins reached 388, surpassing Art Ross' career total with the team.
On February 7, 2017, Julien was relieved of his coaching duties after leading the team with a 26–23–6 record.
Return to Montreal
On February 14, 2017, Julien was named the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens after Michel Therrien was relieved of his head coaching duties. This marks the second time in Canadiens franchise history Julien replaced Therrien, the first time being during the 2002-03 regular season.
|1980–81||Port Huron Flags||IHL||77||15||40||55||153||4||1||1||2||4|
|1981–82||Salt Lake Golden Eagles||CHL||70||4||18||22||134||5||1||4||5||0|
|1982–83||Salt Lake Golden Eagles||CHL||76||14||47||61||176||6||3||3||6||16|
|1990–91||Kansas City Blades||IHL||54||7||16||23||43||—||—||—||—||—|
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|MTL||2002–03||36||12||16||3||5||(77)||4th in Northeast||—||—||—||Did not qualify|
|MTL||2003–04||82||41||30||7||4||93||4th in Northeast||4||7||.364||Lost in Second Round|
|MTL||2005–06||41||19||16||—||6||(93)||Fired||—||—||—||Did not qualify|
|NJ||2006–07||79||47||24||—||8||(107)||Fired||—||—||—||Did not qualify|
|BOS||2007–08||82||41||29||—||12||94||3rd in Northeast||3||4||.429||Lost in First Round|
|BOS||2008–09||82||53||19||—||10||116||1st in Northeast||7||4||.636||Lost in Second Round|
|BOS||2009–10||82||39||30||—||13||91||3rd in Northeast||7||6||.538||Lost in Second Round|
|BOS||2010–11||82||46||25||—||11||103||1st in Northeast||16||9||.640||Won Stanley Cup|
|BOS||2011–12||82||49||29||—||4||102||1st in Northeast||3||4||.429||Lost in First Round|
|BOS||2012–13||48||28||14||—||6||62||2nd in Northeast||14||8||.609||Lost in Stanley Cup Final|
|BOS||2013–14||82||54||19||—||9||117||1st in Atlantic||7||5||.583||Lost in Second Round|
|BOS||2014–15||82||41||27||—||14||96||5th in Atlantic||—||—||—||Did not qualify|
|BOS||2015–16||82||42||31||—||9||93||4th in Atlantic||—||—||—||Did not qualify|
Claude and his wife Karen reside in Lexington, Massachusetts. He was raised in the district of Orléans in Ottawa, Canada.
He is bilingual, speaking both French and English.