Bruins sign coach Julien to multiyear extension

Julien coached the Bruins to the Stanley Cup championship in 2010-11

Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien gives instructions to his team during the third period against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 of a first-round game in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, in Boston, Saturday, April 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

BOSTON (AP) — Claude Julien, who led the Boston Bruins to the playoffs in each of his seven full seasons as coach, has signed a multiyear contract extension.

Julien coached the Bruins to the Stanley Cup championship in 2010-11 and is the longest serving coach in consecutive seasons in the team’s history.

“Claude is one of the top coaches in the NHL and has consistently shown a passion for winning,” general manager Peter Chiarelli said Sunday in announcing the signing. The length of the extension was not disclosed.

Julien is in his eighth season with the Bruins and is the second-longest tenured NHL coach with the same team. Mike Babcock is in his 10th season with the Detroit Red Wings.

“Coaching is a difficult profession at the best of times and what Claude does in implementing structure in his systems, and having a solid defensive foundation while allowing freedom in offensive play is no easy task,” Chiarelli said. “During his time with the Bruins, he has excelled in maintaining this difficult balance, and his longevity here speaks volumes.”

Julien also led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup finals in 2012-13, but lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks.

He has a 317-171-65 record with them and led the Bruins to the NHL’s best regular-season record in 2013-14. They’ve been hurt by injuries to defensemen this season and are off to a mediocre start with a 7-6 record after Saturday night’s 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators.

Julien’s first job as an NHL head coach came in 2002-03 with Montreal. He coached the Canadiens for four seasons, not counting the lockout season of 2004-05.

He spent one season coaching the New Jersey Devils in 2006-07 before being fired just before the playoffs then moved to the Bruins the next season.

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