Like Pat Burns, who died yesterday, Claude Julien coached the QMJHL's Hull Olympiques. Like Burns, Julien is an ex-Canadiens coach. And like Burns once did, Julien now stands behind the Bruins' bench.
"I was fortunate enough to follow his path," Julien said. "Maybe part of that has helped me become a better coach because I had some big shoes to fill along the way. When Pat leaves somewhere, he's obviously left his print. As I said when I won the Jack Adams, I was so honored to receive it from him because I consider him a friend. At the same time, my comment was that if I could even accomplish what he'd accomplished, I'd be a really happy coach. He's got three Jack Adams, a Stanley Cup, he's done so much. He's gone to teams where he's had to turn things around. Those are the reasons he's won the Jack Adams so often, because of his ability to take a team that's been in trouble and turn them into contenders. Lot of respect for him. He's a guy that didn't always get along with every player. But every player liked him and respected him."
Julien said that when Burns got the Boston job, the former policeman recommended him for the Providence position. Later, when Lou Lamoriello interviewed Julien for the New Jersey job, Burns put in a good word for him once more.