Bolton, Mass. -- Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien was on hand for the team’s annual golf tournament Monday at the International in Bolton. While his players discussed the strong possibility of a lockout being imposed by the NHL on Saturday when the current collective bargaining agreement expires, Julien told the media it will be status quo for him regardless of what happens.
“We all know there’s a big challenge ahead,” Julien said. “As a coach, I still have to prepare the same way I would if there were no issues at all. I have to be ready to go on [Sept.] 21st. That’s what I plan on doing.”
If there is a lockout, Julien plans on watching plenty of video and also scouting Bruins prospects and possibly some current players who choose to play for the team’s AHL affiliate in Providence. But unlike the last lockout, when he was head coach of the Montreal Canadiens during the canceled 2004-05 season, he doesn’t expect to be doing that for an entire season.
“I just can’t see that happening again,” said Julien. “We’ve made such good strides as far as our sport is concerned. It would be a shame to take a step back. I think everybody understands that there’s two sides to the story.”
So for now, Julien will just sit on the peripheral waiting for the owners and the NHLPA to resolve their issues and come to an agreement.
“As a coach, sitting in the middle, you just hope it gets resolved,” Julien said. "You work for the owners and you work with the players. It's just a matter of staying out of it and respecting both sides."