Julien receives five-year deal from Canadiens worth at least $20 million

Julien receives five-year deal from Canadiens worth at least $20 million

Well, maybe now we have a better idea why Claude Julien jumped all over the job with the Montreal Canadiens. 

The just-fired Bruins coach confirmed that he’s signed a five-year contract with the Habs that doesn’t begin until the start of next season. According to reports, he'll be paid an annual salary of at least $4 million per season. That’s not the kind of money Julien was going to command from most of the other potential landing spots that figure to be open in a few months -- like Florida, Winnipeg or Las Vegas -- and the commitment to him, plus the franchise prestige and proximity to his Ottawa-area family, made it pretty close to a no-brainer. 

"I’m not going to lie about it," Julien told reporters Wednesday on a conference call. "Had it not been an ideal situation, I would have refused or not taken it."

Julien called his dismissal by the Bruins "not a shock, but I don’t think I was necessarily expecting it." After receiving the news, he and his wife went to Vermont for a pre-planned vacation -- the Bruins are off on their bye week -- and it was there that we was contacted by the Canadiens.

“[We] were getting some rest and enjoying a little time off, but shortly after I got there I got a message," he related. "The few days I spent there I spent trying to finalize things [with  Montreal]. So it happened quickly."

The Canadiens made a hard push for Julien, whom GM Marc Bergevin describes as “a superstar”. And Bergevin made a Godfather-like offer that Julien simply couldn't refuse.

 "[It's] a great organization, great people and everything else." said Julien. "There’s a lot of potential for a great team. What can I say? They are also some of the best fans in the world. Everybody gets excited when they’re going to play Montreal.

Julien will have plenty of building blocks in place to quickly install his defensive system with goalie Carey Price, rough-and-tumble No. 1 defenseman Shea Weber and a number of willing and able D-men like Alexei Emelin and Andrei Markov.

"It was something that appealed to me, although it was quicker than I expected," he said. "But I’m ready for the challenge and looking forward to it.”

Morning Skate: Another setback for Flyers top pick Nolan Patrick

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Morning Skate: Another setback for Flyers top pick Nolan Patrick

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wondering what Melissa McCarthy is going to do now that Spicey is gone.

*The debut for Philadelphia Flyers top pick Nolan Patrick has been scratched due to “an infection in his face.” Boy, this kid can’t get healthy, can he?

*Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill is 100 percent sure that the Winged Wheels will be making a return to the playoffs this season.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has hope returning to the city of Houston that they might get an NHL franchise one of these days.

*Travis Yost delves into shooting percentage and some of the nuances when properly trying to break it down statistically.

*There are new season ticket charges for Habs fans in Montreal, and boy are they pissed off about it. Feels like the kind of thing that could push them to riot in the streets or flood 911 emergency lines if the Canadiens aren’t too careful about it.

*Young Blues defenseman Colton Parayko signs a five-year deal with St. Louis to avoid salary arbitration while the D-man taken exactly one pick before him by the Bruins in the draft, Matt Grzelcyk, is going to be hard-pressed to move past the AHL level this season.

*For something completely different: What would Ivan Drago have been doing with his life after his showdown with Rocky in Mother Russia?