Neely denies ever wanting to fire Claude Julien


WILMINGTON -- Bruins president Cam Neely and general manager Don Sweeney showed their resiliency this offseason when they shrugged off initial criticism and began their rebuild of the team.

There's another prominent figure in the organization who's shown that same quality: Coach Claude Julien.

There were reports last season that Neely wanted Julien fired in the middle of last season, and, in an interview with, the club president wanted to set the record straight.

It’s obvious Julien wouldn’t still be with the team now if Neely wanted him gone, and he says there wasn’t a single time last season when he thought of firing Julien.

“I have no idea where that [report] came from, but I never uttered those words," Neely said. "[Firing Julien] is not something that I thought about at all. Just because I made a quote in 2010 or 2011" -- telling WAAF radio You can't win games 0-0" in 2010-11, a year the B's eventually won the Cup -- " I never uttered that to the Jacobs family. I never uttered that to [Peter] Chiarelli. That’s something I really didn’t like when I heard about it and read it, because it wasn’t true.

“If that was the case, then we would have let [Claude] go. He’s a very good coach, he’s had success in this league and he’s done a great job here. I think he’s one of the best coaches in the league. This is an opportunity where we all feel like we can improve upon things and tweak them a little bit, and that’s something [Julien] has talked to Donnie about quite a bit. I think you always have to evolve as a team, and he and his staff are willing to do that.”

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