Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Devil You Now Know

The New Jersey Devils announced a new head coach this day. Many thought it would be former Devil and current assistant John MacLean. However, in Lou Lamoriello fashion, he went a little off the board. Lamoriello announced former Canadien bench boss Claude Julien as the Devils new head coach.

It's amazing how Julien was under the radar for some clubs. Frankly, I'll be the first to say I completely forget he was out there on the open market. When you have coaches like Marc Crawford and Andy Murray who were more recently canned, you almost lose sight of a guy like Julien. Julien did somewhat well in Montreal, but Bob Gainey didn't think he could be a long-term answer to the Habs, so he let him go.

The last time I think I saw Julien was during TSN's Trade Deadline coverage when he was on a panel with Keith Jones and Dave Andreychuk.

Now, I'm sure there's some dismay in the MacLean camp, but this shouldn't make him bitter towards the club at all. He's been in the assistant coaching game for three years now and I'm sure he would mention that he may not have been ready if he was thrown into the mix. Though he would have been a great coach in the long-run, Lamoriello probably saw he wasn't quite there.

There's going to be plenty of chances for MacLean down the road, so he'll have his day in the sun. Now, it's Julien's time to get the Devils working and getting them back to Stanley Cup glory.

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