General manager Marc Bergevin said Tuesday that Claude Julien will return next season as the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens.
In an interview in French with Canadian TV station RDS at the NHL GMs meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., Bergevin was asked if Julien will return this fall.
“Claude will coach the team in October, November and December, as well,” Bergevin said, according to multiple English translations.
Some had speculated Julien’s job could be in danger after a disappointing season, with the Canadiens (30-28-9, 69 points) nine points out of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot with 15 games to play. But Bergevin does not believe the struggles fall entirely on Julien, who is in his third full season of his second stint with the Canadiens.
“No one is satisfied with the results we have achieved so far this year,” Bergevin said. “And we will have to do everything to raise expectations next year in order to achieve our goals. But it’s not a change of coach that will get us there.”
Julien, 59, rejoined Montreal in February of 2017 after Michel Therrien was fired midseason. The Canadiens have gone 119-105-31 in the three-plus seasons since, making the 2017 postseason but missing out in 2018 and ‘19, including by just three points last season.
Julien also coached the Canadiens from 2002-2006 before being fired in January of 2006. After a brief stint with the New Jersey Devils, he joined the Boston Bruins for 10 seasons, reaching two Stanley Cup Finals (winning one) and earning the 2008-09 Jack Adams Award as the league’s best coach.
In his 17th NHL season, Julien has a career record of 657-437-148 with 10 ties.
Bergevin also shot down speculation that the team could move on from longtime goaltender Carey Price or defenseman Shea Weber this offseason.
Price is 32, while Weber is 34.