Canadiens sign head coach Julien to long-term deal
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Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens Friday signed head coach Claude Julien to a long-term contract. As per club policy, terms were not revealed. Julien became the 26th head coach in franchise history on January 17, 2003 and has guided Montreal to a 53-46-10-9 record. In 2003-04, Montreal enjoyed its best regular season in the past 10 years, going 41-30-7-4 for 93 points. The Canadiens reached the postseason, but were swept by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round. "The Canadiens organization is extremely proud of the work accomplished by Claude Julien last season, said general manager Bob Gainey. "The team posted its best record in the past ten years, which is the result of the players commitment combined to a system very well established by the coaching staff. Claude has brought an excellent work ethic to the organization, and we are confident that his presence will allow our team to continue to improve for years to come." Julien joined the Canadiens following three campaigns as head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League, where he compiled a 98-77-19-11 record. In 2002-03, Julien was named the AHL Co-Coach of the Year.