General manager Don Sweeney spoke for just under 30 minutes Tuesday regarding his decision to fire Claude Julien and replace him with Bruce Cassidy.
Here are 10 observations from Sweeney’s remarks, in honor of each of Julien’s 10 seasons in Boston:
1. Julien and management did not interpret the roster in the same way. Julien saw deficiencies, especially at backup goaltending, that were not good enough. While Sweeney acknowledged the position hasn’t been good enough, the second-year GM believes the rest of the roster is underperforming.
2. Sweeney sees players who can do better, specifically David Backes and Ryan Spooner. Cassidy’s first job will be to define what they are. Backes will remain at right wing. For now, Spooner is a center. Then Cassidy’s job will be to squeeze more out of both, if there is any surplus to be had.
3. Cassidy is the interim coach. But based on his relationship with the GM — he was Providence’s head coach when Sweeney was director of player development — Cassidy is a very good bet to be the permanent boss.
4. Sweeney is considering the upcoming segment — three games in four days against San Jose, Vancouver, and Montreal — as important for evaluation. That’s an awfully limited window from which to chart out the rest of the season.
5. Sweeney did not sound committed to being in the rental market before the March 1 deadline. That’s a good thing. It’s not worth it.
6. President Cam Neely issued the following statement, placing the move on Sweeney’s shoulders: “These decisions are not easy, and Don has my full support. I believe that we have a better team than our results to date show. I also recognize that there are areas that we as a group need to improve upon. This decision does not in any way diminish Claude’s legacy as a Bruins coach. I would like to wish him and his family all the best moving forward.” It is hard to believe Neely did not play a big part in the decision.
7. Julien is signed through 2018. The Bruins have never exercised thought about signing Julien to another extension.
8. Sweeney endorses Cassidy’s desire to run harder practices. It’s risky to burn matches in practice when players are running ragged from the schedule.
9. Sweeney informed Julien of his dismissal Tuesday morning. Sweeney said he wanted to take advantage of Tuesday’s practice day. But the wiser move would have been to wait until Wednesday. The Bruins look cowardly for hiding the move under the Patriots’ parade, even if they say it was not their intention.
10. Sweeney said he was advised by the team’s PR department to speak before Cassidy and the players, coinciding with the time of the parade. Media relations staffers are paid to take such hits, even if it was a cross-check to the teeth.
Follow Fluto Shinzawa on Twitter @GlobeFluto.