The Nation Notebook: Therrien and Julien in a coaching carousel, Chiarelli on the deadline, Vermette’s slash and some rumours

NNNotebook

The Nation Network Notebook is a regular feature that rounds up interesting news, stories, and rumours from around the NHL that don’t quite deserve their own article. 

In a shocking series of events, the Montreal Canadiens fired Michel Therrien yesterday afternoon and replaced him with the Habs archrival Boston Bruins’ former head coach in Claude Julien. The same afternoon, Peter Chiarelli said his Oilers weren’t going to be in the buyers market and later that night Antoine Vermette took a swing at a referee.

Oh Michel, where art thou?

To say that the Valentines Day breakup between the Canadiens and Therrien was a tough one is likely an understatement. Remember, this isn’t the first time that the Canadiens have replaced Therrien with Julien. 

After starting the 2002-2003 season with a record of 18-19-5, Therrien was fired and replaced with Julien. The team finished the season 30-35-8 and missed the playoffs. Therrien finished his first tenure with the Habs with a 77-77-36 record. 

In Julien’s first full season, he lead the Canadiens to a 41-30-7 record and a trip to the second round of the playoffs. He was fired in 2006 and replaced by Bob Gainey. Julien finished his time with the Habs with a record of 72-62-25.

Therrien’s second tenure started in 2012. In his 352 games the second time around as head coach, he posted a record of 194-121-37. 

The news comes as the Canadiens are in the midst of a serious slide for the second straight season. One had to wonder if Therrien would last much longer given the faults his team has shown in the last two years. 

This season alone, the Habs rocketed out to a 13-0-0 start only to go 18-18-8 in the teams last 44 games. To be fair, the Bruins decision to let Julien go in the first place was one that was highly controversial. Despite his team losing two in a row and six of their previous nine and fell out of a playoff spot, he had his squad playing as a top possession team in the league. 

Julien put together some great numbers in his 10 years with the Bruins. He is Boston’s all-time coaching wins leader having posted a 419-246-94 record with the B’s. 

Julien could have very well just ran his tenure out given that there had been rumours of his demise since the 2010 season.

He brought the team a 2011 Stanley Cup victory, as well as another appearance two years later. In 2014, he pushed the team to a President’s Trophy but suffered a 2nd round playoff loss. 

Claude Julien will now have an opportunity to turn around a Canadiens team that is in need of a serious kick. Their aformentioned slide this season has been saved thanks to their 13-0-0 start as they still sit atop the Atlantic Division with a six point lead on the Senators and Bruins.

Buckle up, folks. 

Chiarelli not buying?

“I really don’t want to delve into that market [in regards to him seeking deadline help from the rental market]. I think there are areas we can tinker with; I think the team deserves it. We wanted to be in the conversation. We are.” “(But) we’ve made a lot of moves in the summer, and they’re coming around. I’d rather see those play out…(Deals) fall in your lap … but I don’t see being heavily involved in that market.” “I don’t think it’s the right time for this team, but having said that … once you get into the playoffs, you never know.” via Mark Spector.

Peter Chiarelli’s decision to come out yesterday and speak is an interesting one. 

Recently, his Oilers have been linked closely to Brian Boyle of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Oilers are reported to have interest in the hulking 32-year old center. This season, he has put up 20 points in 50 games and he has won 52.27 per cent of the faceoffs he’s taken. 

Boyle ranks fifth among Lightning forwards in P/60 in 500+ minutes, scoring at a 1.56 points per hour rate. He also has the team’s highest G/60 rate, scoring 1.11 goals per hour. 

He has also been one of the team’s top players in terms of possession. He is second in 5v5 goals for per centage, having a 58.3 GF%. He also ranks second in 5v5 Corsi for per centage at 53.7 CF%.

It is clear that there is value in Boyle, but with rumours swirling that the Lighting might be able to pull in a first round pick do the Oilers really want to jump at him when the team already has to give up a second round pick to the Boston Bruins for hiring Chiarelli?

Chiarelli speaking to the press and trying to brush off his interest in the market could just be a ploy too. General Managers surely play games and are careful with what they say, and what they release in terms of information.

Many feel this could be a year that we see first round picks moved due to the 2017 draft class being one that is weaker than most, so at the end of the day we could see a team pick up Boyle for a first. 

Whether or not they move their first round pick or not in exchange for Boyle or another player, I would have to imagine that the Oilers brass is looking to pick up another 2nd to offset having to lose.

Vermette ejected for slashing an official, which really isn’t a smart thing to do

The referee said something to you that you disagreed with. You may call him names, or something of similar ilk.

However, as Antoine Vermette learned last night, slashing a linesman over the back of the leg is not necessarily the best way to handle things. He appeared upset with the linesman after not agreeing with the way the linesman was dropping the puck, but ended up having his night end early. TSN highlighted it here.

The infraction could fall under Rule 40.3 of the NHL rule book which could call for an automatic 10-game suspension. The rule states:

Any player who deliberately applies physical force to an official in any manner (excluding actions as set out in Category I), which physical force is applied without intent to injure, or who spits on an official, shall be automatically suspended for not less than ten (10) games.

As Bob McKenzie notes below, he could also face a 3-game suspension:

NHL Trade Rumours

  • Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reported on the weekend that the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes are teams that could be interested in Colorado’s Matt Duchene. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun noted that Colorado is “going to want 20-year-old defenceman Noah Hanifan as part of any package with Carolina.”
  • Garrioch also noted in that article that Avs GM Joe Sakic wants “a young, established blueliner, a high-end prospect and a first-round pick as part of any package if Duchene is to be moved.”
  • After chasing rentals in the past, it appears this is the year Stan Bowman sits tight. According to Pierre LeBrun, Stan Bowman said “No, I don’t think so,” when asked about chasing after a big-name rental.
  • The Habs made a coaching change, but could they make a big trade too? Elliotte Friedman suggested in yesterday’s 30 thoughts that while the Habs “have a lot of moving pieces” they could look at something bigger like trading for Duchene.