When it comes to longevity among NHL head coaches, nobody’s beats Barry Trotz and Lindy Ruff.
The two have coached the Predators and Sabres since 1997, respectively, and the next longest-tenured coaches aren’t even close: Detroit’s Mike Babcock (since 2005), Vancouver’s Alain Vigneault (2006) and Boston’s Claude Julien (2007).
Julien recently inked a multi-year extension with the Bruins though, suggesting he’ll be around for a while. And that’s key, as Julien has aspirations of one day matching the kind of tenure Trotz and Ruff have built up in Nashville and Buffalo.
“Well there’s no doubt right now they’ve got to be my idols,” Julien told NESN. “I’d love to be able to do the same thing they did. And I say that sincerely. I love it here and my goal is to continue to coach here and I’m going to do the best I can in order to make that happen.”
While he’s got a ways to go before matching Trotz and Ruff, Julien has began to catch some of the most famous names in Bruins franchise history.
More, from NESN:
His five-year stint already equals the longest run for a head coach in Boston in the last 50 years, matching Don Cherry’s five-year reign from 1974-79. Only Milt Schmidt, with a stint that spanned six-plus seasons from 1954-61, has been behind the Bruins bench for a longer continuous stretch. Julien’s arrival followed a particularly turbulent period for Bruins bench bosses.
Boston ran through six different head coaches in the six seasons before his hiring. Before Julien’s tenure brought an end to the Bruins’ 39-year championship drought, 19 other coaches had run the Bruins’ bench since Tom Johnson guided the club to its last Cup in 1972.
According to Hockey Reference, Julien currently sits four on Boston’s all-time wins chart (with 228), three behind Cherry and 17 behind Schmidt. The winningest coach in Bruins history is Art Ross, with 361.