The Bruins announced early this morning that Claude Julien has been fired, ending his near decade-long run behind the Boston bench.
The news was announced in a simple Tweet with a link to an accompanying news release, ending the reign of (arguably) the best coach in franchise history with a few terse words.
Whether or not Julien was the man for the bench job is a matter of opinion, really. Some say he’s been given nothing to work with and has done a decent job with limited pieces, while others say that things have gone stagnant and it’s time for a new voice.
What’s really not debatable, however, is that the way the Bruins are handling this termination is embarrassing.
Issuing the news via Twitter is fine, as it’s just how things work today.
However, here’s the Bruins’ website homepage as of 8:30 AM:
Hmmmm...it seems like there’s something missing!
Also, the news was dropped on the morning where all of New England is focused on celebrating the Patriots’ fifth Super Bowl win, with a rolling rally through the streets of Boston set for this morning.
99.9% of the Boston sports world (which, admittedly, isn’t the only place Bruins fans come from) is paying no attention to the goings-on on Causeway Street this morning.
98.5 The Sports Hub isn’t going to break into their parade coverage to discuss the Julien move.
WCVB and NESN aren’t going to pack up their crews and move from Boylston Street over to the Garden.
WEEI isn’t going to call off its radio hits to get reaction from the players.
While it’s entirely possible that this is a coincidence, it’s pretty unlikely.
The Bruins could have fired Julien tomorrow, with no games scheduled until Thursday. They could have fired Julien this evening, after the day’s festivities had ended.
Hell, they could have, you know, not fired Julien at all, instead choosing to view it as a mix of bad luck (being at the bottom of the PDO barrel usually isn’t a recipe for team success) and woefully poor shooting.
Instead, the Bruins front office embarrassed themselves with the way they announced and are handling Julien’s dismissal.
The entire thing screams of “burying the lede,” and isn’t something a guy like Julien, who’s put up with rumors and an inept front office to do his job with dignity, deserves.
To put it bluntly, it’s a cowardly move that does a disservice to a coach that led the team to its first run of sustained success in a couple decades and to its first Stanley Cup title in 39 years.
There was nothing but radio silence from the front office for weeks, sitting idly by as rumors swirled that Julien was on the hot seat.
Once the eyes of the Boston sports media and the majority of Boston sports fans are squarely focused elsewhere, they decide it’s time to drop the hammer.
In case it wasn’t clear that the Bruins are a-OK with this whole thing getting as little attention as possible, consider this: there’s a press conference discussing it at 11:30 this morning.
You know, 30 minutes after the Patriots’ parade begins.
Ho hum, nothing to see here...
EDIT: The Bruins finally changed their home page to reflect Julien’s dismissal as of 9:30a.m.