Julien discusses health, Canadiens offseason on NHL @TheRink podcast


Claude Julien is healthy, feeling better than he has in years after having a stent inserted into his heart in August, and hoping to get back behind the bench with the Montreal Canadiens soon.

But Julien, like the rest of the hockey world, is waiting for word on when he can go back to work for the upcoming season, though that uncertainty hasn’t curtailed his intrigue and excitement for what Montreal could possibly do following a busy offseason.

The Canadiens coach joined the NHL @TheRink podcast Thursday to discuss with co-hosts Dan Rosen and Shawn P. Roarke, among other things, the potential impact of Montreal’s new additions, including goalie Jake Allen, defenseman Alexander Romanov, and forwards Tyler Toffoli and Josh Anderson.

“I really feel like we’ve got a roster right now when it’s healthy that should be really competitive,” Julien said. “We’re confident about that. We’ve got some guys that have been there a long time that have done a good job, but we’ve brought in some guys that are going to help support that group and make us a deeper hockey club. You just have to start from the goaltending situation and having a really good goaltender. [Allen] that should be able to give Carey Price some rest. Hopefully we can see the Carey Price we saw in the playoffs because of that. On defense, we’re much bigger now, a little bit deeper. Up front, same thing. … All that put together gives reason for our fans to be more optimistic and we as well as an organization.”

In addition to Julien, Kendall Coyne Schofield also joined as a guest.

Coyne Schofield, a forward for the U.S. Women’s National Team, was hired by the Chicago Blackhawks as the first female player development coach in their history on Nov. 23. It’s part of a hybrid role that will also see her work as a youth hockey growth specialist.

“For me, being the first player development coach in the Blackhawks organization is an honor. It comes with nerves, it comes with excitement, but I think what it comes with is excitement for who comes next,” Coyne Schofield said. “I hope who comes after me as a woman in this position doesn’t feel as much pressure, doesn’t feel the hype of being first, just feels she goes into that role and she’s there to do her job like anybody else. Before that can happen, we need more women in the decisions that are coming about when it comes to talent, when it comes to rosters, when it comes to developing a player. We need a more diverse group looking at that side of the hockey world. When there is more, it’s not as celebrated, but it’s as appreciated.”

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