On paper, few Boston coaches have achieved more than Claude Julien.
He ranks second all-time in wins and made the playoffs every season since taking the gig in 2008. He won the Stanley Cup in 2011, advanced to the Final last year, became the third coach in franchise history to win the Jack Adams and was recently named to Team Canada’s staff for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
But remember, this is Boston.
It’s not easy to be considered among the greats.
There are 11 Hockey Hall of Famers that have served as head coach (Art Ross, Cy Denneny, Frank Patrick, Lynn Patrick, Cooney Weiland, Dit Clapper, Georges Boucher, Milt Schmidt, Harry Sinden, Tom Johnson and Gerry Cheevers.)
Those not in the Hall — Don Cherry, Pat Burns, Terry O’Reilly — hold a special place in the organization as well.
Then there’s Julien himself. He lacks the flamboyance/personality of some of his predecessors and comes across as extremely humble. Consider what he said back in March upon passing Schmidt for No. 2 all-time in Bruins’ wins.
“I certainly don’t perceive myself to be in the same category as Milt Schmidt. You’ve got to understand, it’s a different era. Ties were ties and that’s the way it ended.
“We play 82 games and they played somewhere around the 60 mark, if not less, but it’s a lot different era.
“It’s a number, a number of wins, but I’m certainly not ready to compare myself to him and I have a tremendous amount of respect for Milt, and even for Grapes [Cherry, third on list with 231 wins]. Those guys have done a lot for the game.
“It’s nice to know that you’re with them in regards to the number of wins, but certainly not willing to say I’m in the same category as them, yet.”
Let’s turn the discussion over to you, the readers. Where do you put Julien among the greatest Boston coaches of all time?