Don Sweeney says Claude Julien will ‘absolutely’ return as Bruins coach

Assistant coach Doug Houda will not return to the team.

Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien stands in the bench in the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, in Washington. The Capitals won 4-1. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Claude Julien still has a job with the Bruins. –Alex Brandon/AP

Claude Julien will keep his job coaching the Boston Bruins, general manager Don Sweeney announced at a press conference Thursday.

“I emphatically believe that Claude can take us through what has been a bumpy transition period. I have work to do,” Sweeney said.

Sweeney said assistant coach Doug Houda will not return to the team. According to CSNNE.com, Bob Essensa is the only assistant coach with a contract extending past this season. Sweeney said Julien “has to be comfortable with his staff” as they begin to fill the vacancies, via the Boston Herald.

The Bruins (42-31-9) slipped out playoff contention after losing nine of the last 12 games of the 2015-16 season. Julien and Sweeney discussed the future of the franchise after season’s end.

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“I did a self evaluation: Do I still have the ear of the dressing room, are they still hearing, all those things you go through,” Julien said at the press conference, via the Herald. “Everything that came out of it, by the time I was done … was I want to be here. I want to bring the team back to where we once had it.

“To be honest with you, would it be easier to go somewhere else and start fresh … that’s not what I wanted. This organization has been good to me, it’s been loyal to me. I love this city. I love our fans. You want to be somewhere where people are passionate about this game. I don’t want to be that guy that fails because you hit a bump in the road. You want to be the guy who perseveres. It’s fine to be the winningest coach in Bruins history, but I want to be remembered as the guy who went back, dug his heels in and turned this franchise around.”

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