Claude Julien: Developing Young Players Into Stars

Mark Twain was a great philosopher, perhaps the best in history. Although he passed over 100 years ago, he is one of the most quoted individual today. He once said: “The trouble with the world is not that people know too little; it’s that they know so many things that just aren’t so.” The amazing thing is that it still applies today and I was reminded of how timeless his sayings truly are.

Similarly to team GM Marc Bergevin, Montreal Canadiens’ head coach Claude Julien seems to have this “reputation” following him based on… well, we don’t know what it’s based on. Julien’s reputation about not being good in developing young NHL players seems to be making the rounds once in a while. It’s like when people repeat something often enough, they start believing in it and they are doing everything in their power to convince everyone else.

But why? Where does that concept come from? There has to be some solid grounds for hockey fans to say that, right? Well let’s look. Let’s see how many young players got their starts with Julien as a coach and developed into great hockey players, shall we?

All of those players made their debuts with Julien as their head coach. Most of them were developed under Julien’s teaching and became excellent hockey players. Many had their best seasons or had their breakthrough season under his tutelage. I know, I researched it. You don’t believe it? Research it yourself, I promise that you will be surprised.

Some people are disgruntled, for one reason or another, towards specific individuals and they will believe anything that’s said that fits their belief, or preconceptions. Others are just being mislead involuntarily and took what someone said as the truth. “So and so said it, so it must be true”, right?

So now that we know the truth about this misconception about Julien, can we please drop the narratives and move on? He is more than capable to develop Kotkaniemi, Mete, Poehling, Suzuki, Brook, Romanov, Primeau and company. Even his assistants have an excellent track record so rest at ease Habs’ fans, the team’s young guns are in good hands. I wouldn’t have said that just a couple of years ago but they truly are. Go Habs Go!

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