(Reuters) - The Montreal Canadiens have fired head coach Michel Therrien and hired Claude Julien as his replacement, the National Hockey League team said on Tuesday.
Julien, who was fired as coach of the Boston Bruins last week, takes over a Montreal team that have seen their lead in the Atlantic Division diminish after a slow start to 2017.
"Today we hired the best available coach, and one of the league's best," Canadiens general manager, Marc Bergevin said in a statement. "I am convinced that he has the capabilities to get our team back on the winning track."
Julien, a former coach of the year who led Boston to their first Stanley Cup in 39 years when they triumphed in 2011, is entering his second tour of duty as head coach of the Canadiens after assuming the role from January 2003 to January 2006.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto. Editing by Steve Keating)