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Milbury's not Bruins coaching choice

Posted by Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff  June 18, 2007 06:24 PM

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Mike Milbury, whose name surfaced over the weekend as a candidate for the vacant Bruins coaching position, learned today he will not be the choice to succeed Dave Lewis, who was fired Friday.

According to a long-time league acquaintance of Milbury's, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the 55-year-old former defenseman was told by a Bruins' front-office official today the club had made its choice for the job and that Milbury was not the choice.

Reached at his Long Island home Thursday afternoon, Milbury respectfully declined to comment.

GM Peter Chiarelli over the weekend confirmed that Milbury, the last coach to guide the Bruins to a Stanley Cup final (1990), was on his short list. By Sunday evening, Chiarelli, becoming more public with his comments now after one year on the job, said he narrowed his list to four candidates--believed to be Milbury, Claude Julien, Randy Cunneyworth, and Scott Gordon (Boston's long-time AHL coach in Providence).

With Milbury out of the equation, that leaves only three possibilities, and rumors around the league late in the afternoon had it that Julien was the overwhelming choice to succeed Lewis.

Julien, 47, has a relationship dating back more than 20 years with Chiarelli. While playing for Harvard, Chiarelli would return home to Ottawa over the summer and often skating with a group of pros that included the slightly older Julien. Later, when Chiarelli was an Ottawa-based agent, he often sent clients to Julien's summer conditioning camps in the area.

Julien was hired as the Devils' new head coach last summer and then was turfed with three games to go in the regular season, after accumulating a 47-24-8 record.

The Senators today fired GM John Muckler and replaced him with head coach Bryan Murray, who said he will immediately begin a search for a new bench boss. It's a possibility that the search will lead to Julien, and if so, that could cut the Bruins off at the pass in their attempt to bring the former Habs coach to Causeway.

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