Claude Julien signed a contract extension today that will see him stay in Boston a while longer. Julien has won at every level he’s coached and while he’ll likely deny it, he’ll get the opportunity to be the winningest coach in Boston Bruins history. He’s currently 133 wins from tying the legendary Art Ross for that spot. Having averaged just over 46 and a half wins a season in the last three seasons with Boston, he has a chance to hit that number in less than four years.
The current rosters standouts Patrice Bergeron (age 26), Brad Marchand (age 24), Tyler Seguin (age 20), Zdeno Chara (age 35), Milan Lucic (age 24) are all likely to be at or near the top of the their games at least that long. With young guns like Ryan Spooner, Jared Knight and Alex Khoklachev beating down the door for top six spots, and Tommy Cross, Dougie Hamilton, and Torey Krug ready, willing and able to stake a claim to a stretch of the blueline it is unlikely the general talent level will drop off soon.
In goal? Well, there Hunger Games features competition no more fierce than the fight for the Boston crease. Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin will be the presumed one-two punch headed into camp but they should not sleep easy. Michael Hutchinson made great strides in adjusting to the pro game last season, Adam Morrison is 100% focused on achieving his best. There’s this uber-athletic first round pick named Malcolm Subban as well. One look in his eyes will tell you he sees himself wearing the spoked B and playing the bulk of the schedule real damn soon. As if those gentlemen weren’t enough to make the competition vicious, there’s the Swedish Ron Hextall, aka Niklas Svedberg who at the ancient age of 22 has picked up four fighting majors in his native Sweden. Going the college route are two guys everyone else wants to watch over their shoulders, Lars Volden and Zane Gothberg.
Sometime in early October, assuming we have a season and that it starts on time, Julien should pick of the four wins he needs to pass Hockey Night in Canada commentator Don Cherry for third all time among Bruins coaches wins. Next up is Milt Schmidt who has done everything for the team but fly the jet. To pass Schmidt Julien will need 18 wins, something he’d probably like done before Thanksgiving, but more likely just before Christmas. After that its a long haul to catch Art Ross. Bruins fans are hopeful he’ll pick up certain key hardware along the way at least once more.