Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien instructs his players during hockey practice recently. The Boston Bruins signed head coach Claude Julien to a contract extension Friday. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Charles Krupa/ file)
BOSTON - Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien, who led the team to the highest point total in the Eastern Conference last season, agreed to a multi-year contract extension.
The team made the announcement Friday. Julien led the Bruins to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons in Boston.
Last season, he led the Bruins to a conference-best 116 points. But Boston fell to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games in the second round of the playoffs.
In his first season, the Bruins lost to Montreal in seven games in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
"It's important to feel the confidence of the people behind me - Mr. (Jeremy) Jacobs and the upper management," Julien said. "It means a lot to me."
"Claude has shown a tremendous propensity to get the maximum results out of our team," said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. "To me, he's a guy who can connect, a roll up your sleeves type of guy who connects with his players. I think he commands the respect that a coach needs to get to be successful."
Julien, a native of Blind River, Ont., won the NHL's Jack Adams Award as the league's top coach after the last season.
In two seasons in Boston, Julien has a 94-48-22 record, a .640 winning percentage.
Julien coached the Montreal Canadiens for one full season and parts of two others from 2003-2006 and also led the New Jersey Devils to the top seed in the Eastern Conference in the 2006-07 season before being replaced late in the season.
Julien said he expects the Bruins' loss in the playoffs will make the team more determined this season, with training camp set to open next week.
"With the way the season ended last year, we're still very hungry and want to accomplish even more," he said.
Chiarelli said in making the decision to extend Julien, it was his feeling that Julien's work ethic and attention to detail have made him a success.
"We're very happy he's in the mix for years to come, and I look forward to working with him," Chiarelli said.