Montreal Canadiens coach Claude Julien was rushed to the hospital Wednesday night following Game 1 of the team’s series against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said during a press conference Thursday afternoon in Toronto that Julien was taken to the hospital by ambulance after experiencing chest pains overnight and is undergoing tests while he is kept under observation.
Bergevin, who added that he was able to speak with Julien this morning, stated that Julien’s condition is not related to COVID-19. The team does not expect the head coach to be back behind the bench for the remainder of this series.
“The chances he returns for this series are very minimal,” Bergevin said in French, acknowledging the many logistics involved with COVID and quarantining. “But outside of that, it’s a possibility, even with the rules regarding COVID. There’s a chance he’ll return with our team.”
“We’ll have discussions with the staff, the hospital and Dr. Mulder. And Claude and his wife will make the best decision for him,” said Bergevin. “Possible he comes back to the hotel, but he’ll probably go back home to Montreal. I don’t have a final answer. I should have one over the coming days.”
Associate coach Kirk Muller will take over head coaching duties in Julien’s absence.
“Claude is a guy who works closely with his assistants. For our series against the Penguins and for our game yesterday, I thought, sincerely, our team was ready,” Bergevin said. “For sure we’ll be missing Claude, but our three coaches have experience as head coaches—Kirk in Carolina, Luke [Richardson] in Binghamton, and [Dominique Ducharme] at the world junior championships. So we have experienced guys who will work together.”