Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Claude Julien...with Hair!

Boston Bruins fans, and casual hockey fans alike, undoubtedly recognize the round, bald dome of current head coach Claude Julien.  We've cheered as he led the team to their only Stanley Cup championship of this era back in 2011.  We've screamed as he's consistently rolled four lines and given major ice time to guys like Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell in huge games losses.

For now, Julien's still at the helm with the B's, but his days as head coach are most likely numbered as the Bruins search for a new GM whose first significant duty may involve firing Claude.  Say what you want about the man, but "The Human Thumb" has been the most successful coach of my favorite team during my lifetime as a fan.  His failure to lead the Bruins into the playoffs this past season was the first of his tenure with Boston.

I've wanted to add a card of Julien to my hockey collection for some time now, but thanks to Upper Deck pretty much ignoring coaches nowadays I was forced to go all the way back to when Julien was a minor league player, and still had some hair left.  Behold!

This beauty is from the 1989-90 ProCards AHL set.  I only recently became aware that Claude was a somewhat successful professional player before entering into coaching.  He even logged 14 games at the NHL level with the Quebec Nordiques in the mid-'80s!  That may not be much, but it's 14 games more than your average hockey player ever gets to see at that level. 

By the time this card came out, his days in the NHL were behind him and he was clinging on as a defenseman with the Halifax Citadels.  They were affiliated with the Nordiques, and only existed in Nova Scotia for a five-year stretch between 1988 and 1993.  I love obscure teams, so I was as happy to add my first Halifax Citadels card to my collection as I was to finally add a Claude Julien.

There are a few more cards of Claude floating around out there, maybe I'll chase them down and become a Julien "supercollector"...


Marc said...

Nice card. Although the photo with Julien hoisting The Cup over his head is a better shot.

Please Bruins organization, do NOT hire Mike Millbury to be the gm.

"but thanks to Upper Deck pretty much ignoring coaches nowadays" Just another reason to bring back Panini.

Mark Hoyle said...

Great addition

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