Montreal

'This is the best day of my life, and I just had a kid 3 days ago': Habs fans thrilled Michel Therrien is gone

Many Montreal Canadiens fans are celebrating after learning that Claude Julien is the hockey team's new coach.

Canadiens faithful ready to welcome Claude Julien as new coach

Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien was fired Tuesday afternoon, after eight seasons with the team. (CBC)

Many Montreal Canadiens fans are celebrating after learning that the hockey team will have a new coach.

Michel Therrien, who serve behind the bench for five years, has been fired. He will be replaced by Claude Julien, who was just dismissed as coach of the Boston Bruins last week.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin made the announcement in a news release Tuesday afternoon.

"The decision to remove Michel from his coaching duties was a difficult one because I have lots of respect for him. I came to the conclusion that our team needed a new energy, a new voice, a new direction," his statement said.

Fans were quick to offer their take on social media - many had fun with news. 

Some noted the firing came on Valentine's Day.

Others were more blunt.

At McLean's Pub in downtown Montreal, hockey fans were also happy with the news.

Seymour Ward's first thought when she heard the news was, "About time! And welcome back, Claude Julien," she told CBC.

"The players didn't play for [Therrien] — at least that's the vibe we got.… I just don't think the players respected him."
'It's about time! And welcome Claude Julien,' says Habs fan Seymour Ward. (CBC)

Robert Campbell agrees.

"I think it's the best thing that's happened. [Therrien's] not a good coach. The Canadiens have been losing too much. They've got quality players, they just can't seem to get it together, so it's time for a change. That's it," Campbell told CBC.

Campbell is ready to welcome Julien behind the bench.

"I think he's OK — he's solid," Campbell said.

Habs fan Robert Campbell says he lost faith in coach Michel Therrien when P.K. Subban was traded last summer. (Kate McKenna/CBC)

Julien, 56, already served as the Habs head coach in the past, from 2003 to 2006.

He went on to coach the New Jersey Devils and the Boston Bruins, leading the Bruins to a Stanley Cup championship in 2011.

"Claude Julien is an experienced and well-respected coach with a good knowledge of the Montreal market,"  Bergevin said. "Today we hired the best available coach, and one of the league's best. I am convinced that he has the capabilities to get our team back on the winning track."

Claude Julien was fired by the Boston Bruins last week. (Bill Sikes/Associated Press)

The Canadiens have been the worst team in the NHL since the beginning of February, with only one win in seven games.

Habs president Geoff Molson thanked Therrien for all his work over the last five years in a tweet.

With files from CBC's Kate McKenna

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