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.”