Following Wednesday’s series opener against Philadelphia, Habs head coach Claude Julien was taken to hospital after experiencing chest pains overnight. He is not expected to return for the remainder of this series.
Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin released the following statement:
“Good afternoon. I’m here to inform you of the reason Claude Julien was not here this morning at practice. Claude experienced chest pain during the night. We immediately consulted our doctors and it was agreed to transfer him to the hospital by ambulance. He’s presently there and he’s undergoing tests to determine the exact nature of his condition. This has nothing to do with COVID.
We don’t expect him to be back during this series against the Flyers. Kirk [Muller], Dominique [Ducharme], and Luke [Richardson] will share the responsibility, however, Kirk is the associate head coach and he will assume the responsibility of head coach until Claude’s return.
We understand that Kirk does not speak French, but these are exceptional circumstances and we’re asking you for your understanding. Out of respect for Claude and his family, I will not answer any further questions about his medical condition.”
Julien underwent a stenting of a coronary artery on Thursday afternoon and is expected to be released from hospital on Friday. At that time, he’ll return to Montreal to rest. If the Habs move on in the playoffs and Julien is cleared to return, he will have to undergo another quarantining before re-entering the bubble.
In the meantime, Muller will move up to the top role but it won’t be his first NHL head coaching action as he spent parts of three seasons in that role with Carolina. At his presser, Bergevin indicated that Muller will have full autonomy when it comes to any roster decisions.
HabsWorld joins those in wishing Coach Julien a speedy recovery.