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Tag: Claude Julien

Don’t Hate Too Much On Cappy

This week we got a surprisingly bad reaction from fans regarding the coaching direction of the Golden Knights. The Creator’s “unwillingness” to overpay for Claude Julien started a conversation about financial commitment. Some even went as far as to call him cheap. Let’s clear something up, the man is about to finish to paying off $500 million for an NHL team, he’s not cheap. But fans are getting nervous that The Creator won’t do everything he can do to win hockey games. When he said $4.5 million for Julien was too much for Vegas, fans took that as not being fully invested.

If Vegas chooses a coach like Jack Capuano or Gerard Gallant fans are going to voice themselves. The Creator is realistic, the organization is committed to the future. Passing on a big name coach isn’t a sign of cheapness, it’s a sign of a responsible approach eyeing that future rather than instant gratification.

I’ve written about Capuano’s fit in Las Vegas, but he’s not a popular among fans. Here’s a comment from on Capuano back in late November.

Take Capuano, please. Take his assistants, too. They make no adjustments. They have ruined more players (high draft picks) than they have developed. The GM might be part of that, too but playing time & in game is on the coach. They have stopped playing hard, and for the past two plus seasons, I have never seen so many late goals (both end of periods & games) given up in 45 years of watching hockey. I will drive him to the airport if you want. -pfh64


Many people think Capuano underachieved in New York. Complaints are he cannot develop talent and won’t use analytics to assist his decisions. All are very good reasons to be down on a potential Vegas coach. However, is that really Jack Capuano? Or is that what you say about a coach who was just fired?

I’m here to tell you, he isn’t anything like the comment above, and the countless others we’ve received on social media.  Let me try and quiet the storm in Las Vegas. Here’s how Jack Capuano compares to other available coaches.

Jack CapuanoClaude JulienKen HitchcockLindy Ruff
Seasons as HC6142119
Win %.536.603.606.562
Playoff Appearances481410
Playoff Record10-1461-4786-8266-54
Playoff %.417.560.512.550
Stanley Cups0110
Key PlayersTavares, HalakBrodeur, Chara, ThomasModano, Nieuwendyk, Belfour, HullHasek, Satan, Peca
Jack CapuanoDan BylsmaGerard GallantJon Cooper
Seasons as HC6865
Win %.536.624.518.591
Playoff Appearances4613
Playoff Record10-1443-352-425-25
Playoff %.417.551.333.500
Stanley Cups0100
Key PlayersTavares, HalakCrosby, MalkinJagr, Nash, Ekblad, LuongoStamkos, Bishop, St. Louis, Hedman


Here’s a breakdown of Capuano vs. the more experienced coaches in their first six seasons behind the bench.

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Cross Off Claude, Julien All But Out For Vegas

Last March, the Toronto Maple Leafs handsomely paid Mike Babcock $6.25 million per year to be their head coach; an offer Babcock couldn’t refuse. In the process of getting a monster raise, Babcock rewarded his fellow NHL coaches by inflating the market. Now coaches are waiting their turn to cash in. Say a guy like Claude Julien.

When you make these decisions, you better have a guy in line that’s better than that guy. There’s not many, I can tell you that. He’s a hell of a coach. –Mike Babcock on Boston firing Claude Julien

Many believe Julien will demand a salary as high as $4-5 million per year. Which made me wonder, would Vegas be willing to pay the going rate for Claude?

The answer is no.

Ken and I had a chance to catch up with The Creator during the Mandarin Oriental Rooster trade event, and after our conversation, I can officially cross Julien’s name off the list. It’s no longer speculation, Claude Julien will not be the Golden Knights first coach. It was clear immediately when I asked directly about the financial aspect of the hiring. I first asked if he would pay top dollar, to which he instantly said yes. I added, four to five million? And the answer speaks for itself.

That’s probably a lot for us.

I’ll tell you what we really want. George McPhee’s going to make the call. My call is going to be, is this a guy I can work with feel comfortable with. All the people we have in this organization keep their egos in check they are about winning hockey games or making a successful business. -The Creator

Read More Podcast #54: Stanley The Golden Rooster

Ken and Jason jump back in the studio for an early morning (apparently) podcast to recap the Mandarin Oriental event. Hosted by Ken Boehlke and Jason Pothier.

  • The Year of the Rooster.
  • Chinese influence in the NHL and Las Vegas.
  • Coaching discussion including some news on Claude Julien and Jack Capuano.
  • Mascot update from Foley.
  • Community engagement update for the coming weeks.

And much more…

We are on iTunes as well as Stitcher. Subscribe now!

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Drop The Gloves: Don’t Get Too High On Claude And Hitch

It’s been a while since we’ve had any disagreements worth a Drop The Gloves post, but that changed with the recent coaching news including Claude Julien, Ken Hitchcock, and Mike Modano. So here goes.

Yesterday we had our fourth NHL coach relieved of their duty. Not many were surprised when Boston axed Claude Julien or when St Louis canned Ken Hitchcock last week. Boston and St. Louis fans don’t accept underachievers and both organizations were forced to act. The result is now the Golden Knights have two Stanley Cup winning coaches to examine. Ken wrote about Julien’s dismissal yesterday and it’s potential impact to Las Vegas. He noted the former Bruins coach fitting George McPhee’s qualifications.

Experienced, a guy the hockey community knows, fits the culture, and someone who they do not have to evaluate. Julien also brings one more aspect that no one would ever admit is necessary, legitimacy.”  –Ken, (We’ve officially hit a new low quoting ourselves. Oh well.)

The one thing McPhee’s wishlist didn’t have was ‘Stanley Cup winning coach’ because they don’t grow on trees. Two are now available. But as established as Hitchcock and Julien are, neither are the right fit to coach on the Strip.

Trotz said Julien probably already has offers, which isn’t far-fetched for the previously longest-tenured coach in the league who has a Cup ring and one of the strongest resumes around. The expansion Vegas Golden Knights could have interest in Julien, Gallant, Hitchcock and Capuano since general manager George McPhee is believed to want experience behind the bench. –USA Today

Let’s start with Hitchcock. Anything but the perfect candidate. Hitch has coached since 1995, starting off in Dallas and leading them to a gift Stanley Cup in 1999. No Goal! In seven years with the Stars, Hitchcock led his team to five playoff appearances, three conference finals, and one Stanley Cup championship. From there Hitch had continuous success in the regular season but couldn’t get his teams deep. Only three times since 1999’s Cup victory, Hitchcock made the conference finals. Not a great track record in 16 seasons. Hitchcock’s .606 regular season winning percentage drops significantly to .512 in the postseason.

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Boston Fires Julien, Next Stop Vegas?

What seemed inevitable finally became a reality this morning, and everything the Golden Knights have said to be looking for is now available in one 58-year old Canadian package.

Former Stanley Cup and Jack Adams award (best coach) winner Claude Julien was fired by the Boston Bruins after nine and a half seasons in Beantown. The Bruins made the playoffs in each of Julien’s first seven seasons behind the bench before coming up three points short last year.

I could go on and on about the wonders of this guy’s career, but I’m pretty sure that’s why they made this Wikipedia thing everyone keeps telling me about. Instead, let’s look at it from the Vegas perspective. If you look back through the history of what George McPhee has been saying he wants running the show here in Vegas, he’s basically described Julien without ever saying his name.

Experienced, a guy the hockey community knows, fits the culture, and someone who they do not have to evaluate. Julien also brings one more aspect that no one would ever admit is necessary, legitimacy.

When the Golden Knights became a reality they were met with critics from all over the world (especially Canada). Then they hired George McPhee, then Kelly McCrimmon, and eventually added David Conte, Scott Luce, Misha Donskov, and a bunch more top level scouts and operations guys that has hockey insiders unanimously claiming Vegas has done remarkably well putting together its first front office. But hockey fans aren’t that easily convinced. Many have heard of McPhee, but the rest of the names on that list aren’t exactly high profile to your everyday working Joe.

Claude Julien is.

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Gerard Gallant’s Decision On The Isles Might Be A Hint At Vegas

When The Bobfather speaks we listen. Without discussing Vegas specifically, TSN’s Bob McKenzie may have given away parts of George McPhee’s master plan. McKenzie’s sources told him the Islanders tried hiring Jack Capuano’s replacement before firing him.

The Islanders did approach the Florida Panthers for permission to talk to Gallant. If Gerard Gallant wanted to be the head coach of the New York Islanders he would have been the head coach of the New York Islanders. And that permission by the way was initially asked for while Jack Capuano was still their head coach a number of weeks ago. -McKenzie

Gallant could’ve been hesitant to take the first job offered to him. Possibly it was the current environment in New York. Or was the current opening on 3780 South Las Vegas Boulevard the reason he turned down the Islanders?

Gallant’s name has been at the head of the line when it comes to coaching rumors in Vegas for weeks. It’ll continue to heat up every day that passes over the next few months. McPhee has a mass of selling points to any head coach, most importantly stability. Gallant is 53 years-old, he’s searching for his Stanley Cup ring, and his player-friendly style could fit in Vegas.

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