11 a.m., Aug. 7)
turnout for chance to meet Lord Stanley's cup
Julien's niece Mia sits inside the Stanley Cup during a family photo with the
trophy in his parents' backyard. Also in the picture are Claude's wife Karen,
their daughter Katryna and his brother Rick. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien brought the Stanley Cup to his parents' home
on Navan Road on Saturday it was supposed to be a quiet family affair, but news
travels fast in Orléans and by 4 p.m. about 500 people were lined up for
a chance to meet Julien and have their picture taken with the most famous mug
grew up in Orléans and played his minor hockey in Cumberland and Gloucester before
eventually joining the Nepean Raiders. After a stint in the OHL with the Oshawa
Generals and the Windsor Spitfires, Julien played professional hockey for 12 years,
including 13 games in the NHL, before joining the coaching ranks as an assistant
for the Ottawa Jr. Senators in 1994.
person who didn't have to stand in line on Saturday was the man who gave Julien
his first big break as a coach, former Gatineau Olympiques general manager Charlie
recalls offering the job to Julien in 1996.
knew Oshawa was after him too, so I offered him a three-year contract on the spot,"
says Henry who took a break from battling cancer to see his former coach.
Julien's first year with the Olympiques he took them to the Memorial Cup championship,
foreshadowing the success that was yet to come his way. In 2000, the Montreal
Canadians hired Julien to coach the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Bulldogs finished 13 games below .500 that first year. A year later they finished
seven games above .500 and made it all the way to the semi-finals. In 2002-2003,
they started out 33-6 before the parent club came calling and made Julien their
new head coach.
spent the better part of three seasons with the Canadiens, before being let go
midway through the 2005-2006 campaign. He was hired by the New Jersey Devils that
summer and coached them to their best record before or since, before being fired
by Devils GM Lou Lamoriello just three games prior to the start of the playoffs.
sudden firing was tough for Julien to take, but he wouldn't be out of work for
long. Three months after being fired by the Devils, he was hired by the Bruins
and three years later he led them to the promised land.
says Julien's most important attribute as a coach is his ability to get his players
to believe in themselves and each other.
has a gift to make you believe in yourself and the team concept and he worked
hard to get to where he is, no one gave him anything," says Henry, who was
torn between Julien and fellow former Olympiques head coach Alain Vigneault when
the Stanley Cup finals began.
was tough for me to pick sides with Claude and Alain coaching against each other,
but Claude called me after Game 3 and said, 'Charlie we're going to win this thing',
and I believed him."
was hospitalized shortly after the playoffs, but he wasn't far from Julien's thoughts.
The day after the Stanley Cup parade was held in Boston, Julien flew to Ottawa
to visit his old friend.
just that type of guy. He's very loyal to his friends and players and he'll do
anything for you," says Henry.
Saturday, he spent four hours posing for pictures and signing autographs. The
first two hours were set aside for relatives and close friends. Aunts, uncles
and cousins came from as far away as Kapuskasing, Sudbury and Montreal.
host to the family reunion was Julien's proud parents Marcel and Julien, his brother
Rick and his sister Natalie.
had a broad smile on his face the entire time. The last time the Juliens had that
many relatives in their backyard was when Claude married his wife Karen.
is something, isn't it? It's hard for me to put in words just how I feel,"
said Marcel surveying the scene.
began his day with the Stanley Cup on the Rideau Canal. After posing for pictures
with his wife Karen and their five-year-old daughter Katryna, they went to a public
appearance at the Tudor Hall attended by hundreds of fans.
were at the Hall for two hours before making the drive out to Navan. By the time
the last fan had his picture taken with the Cup, Julien was ready for a little
R&R followed by a private dinner with the family.
the meet and greet session in Navan, a number of people could be heard saying
they were looking to coming back next year as they were leaving.
hard to believe that back in March, many Bruins fans were calling for Julien's
head. Such is the life of an NHL coach -- from being on the verge of unemployment
to hosting a Stanley Cup party in your parents' backyard in less than four months.
It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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