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Before Nov. 9, 2013, John Madden had never stood behind any kind of bench. This does not seem especially fair to coaching lifers, including his former boss in New Jersey.
“Some are more fortunate than others. They skip a few grades and get right to the top,” Bruins coach Claude Julien, who mucked in the QMJHL and AHL corners before his NHL opportunity, said with a smile.
Madden is an assistant coach in the sport’s premier league without ever having yelled at a player or pointed out errors on video. It is an unusual and, sometimes, unenviable position. NHLers have a hard time taking a rookie coach seriously, especially when it’s someone who used to bust chops in the same room.