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Lamoriello says he has no regrets firing Julien from Devs post

Jun 10, 2013, 12:49 PM EST

Lou Lamoriello Getty Images

Six years ago, Lou Lamoriello made a fateful decision.

With just three games left in the 2006-07 regular season and his Devils tied for first place in the Atlantic Division, Lamoriello pulled a stunner by firing head coach Claude Julien, jumping behind the bench himself.

Even though the move could be questioned now — the Devils were bounced in Round 2 that postseason, Julien has won 256 games since taking the Bruins gig in ’07-08 and he Devils have 250 wins over that same time period — Lamoriello says he has zero regrets.

“No [regrets], because I made the decision at that time with the information I had in front of me,” Lamoriello told The Star-Ledger. “If you could go back and make decisions again, knowing what you know now, things would be different.

“You can’t look back. You’ve got to trust the position you’re in and the information you have. Nobody else has that information.”

Since leaving New Jersey, Julien’s had immense success in Boston.

The Bruins have made the playoffs in each of his six seasons at the helm, winning nine playoff series in total while advancing to two Stanley Cup finals, winning once (2011).

What’s more, he’s provided stability behind the Boston bench. With this year’s dismissals of Lindy Ruff in Buffalo and Alain Vigneault in Vancouver, Julien became the third-longest tenured coach in the NHL, behind only Nashville’s Barry Trotz and Detroit’s Mike Babcock.

New Jersey, meanwhile, has gone through a number of coaches during that stretch: Lamoriello, Brent Sutter, Jacques Lemaire, John MacLean, Lemaire again, finally, current bench boss Peter DeBoer.

The Devils GM acknowledged that Julien’s a good head coach who did well during his time in New Jersey.

But again, no regrets.

“There’s no question he did a good job for us,” Lamoriello explained. “There are always circumstances why things are done.

“You do things for reasons and you never look back.”

  1. pensman29 - Jun 10, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Can someone tell me why he was fired in the first place?

    • jpelle82 - Jun 10, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      lou wanted to coach again

  2. jb8383 - Jun 10, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    only Lou knows

  3. pastabelly - Jun 10, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    That was a ballsy move by Lou. It’s just hard to question Lou, given his track record. If he sensed that something was wrong with the team, then he made the right move at the time. It’s hard to justify firing a guy who had won 4 of 5 and whose team had 102 points with three games left. I suppose everything worked out for both Lou and Claude, but it’s doubtful they exchange holiday cards.

  4. jb8383 - Jun 10, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    I think they had lost a bunch of games at the end of that reg. season, even though they had already clinched a playoff spot, and supposedly that was why, but who knows. Lou said this “I couldn’t be happier for Claude. He’s a quality individual and a good friend,” “He’s done a great job. You like to see good people have success. I’m excited for him, and I’ve told him that.”

  5. dentals1 - Jun 10, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Pretty ballsy that he has done that twice to coaches. He didn’t go on to have great success, but he also let Robbie Ftorek go early and he was 41-20-8-5 at the time of his dismissal.

  6. quizguy66 - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    For the record the Devils won their last 2 games (and 4 of their last 5) with Julien as head coach.

    The story, never confirmed, was basically that Julien had lost the locker room. That the players didn’t respect him – that he didn’t impose discipline on them. What I heard was that in a practice soon before he was fired that a player actually fired a puck at him and he did nothing.

    I don’t know if it’s true, but I know that losing the team is a consistent reason why Lamoriello has let coaches go. It’s also why DeBoer will remain to start next season.

    -QG

    • 950003cups - Jun 10, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      Rumor circulating at that time was the guy who shot the puck at Julien was Scott Gomez. Not sure who really did it though. Or if it really happened.

      • demons87 - Jun 10, 2013 at 6:47 PM

        That’s probably why Julien wasn’t upset. He was probably standing in front of the net and knew Gomez would miss.

    • thesportsjudge - Jun 10, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      Maybe it was Pandolfo, and that is why he was used like twice this season, LOL.

      • pastabelly - Jun 10, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        Pandolfo is just over the hill. He was awful.

  7. sanfranbruinsfan - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    Maybe Claude learned something from Lou.

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