TORONTO — Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Thursday afternoon that head coach Claude Julien was taken to a Toronto hospital after suffering chest pains following the team’s 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday night in Game 1 of their NHL playoff series.
“Claude felt chest pains during the night,” Bergevin said during a video conference. “We immediately consulted our doctors and it was agreed to quickly transfer him to the hospital by ambulance. He’s presently there and he’s under tests to determine exactly the nature of his condition. This has nothing to do with COVID.”
Julien turned 60 on April 23. He did a video conference with reporters after Wednesday night’s game and appeared to be fine.
Bergevin said he received a call very early Thursday morning from David Mulder, the Canadiens’ longtime team physician, informing him about Julien’s condition.
“A little shock and concerned,” Bergevin said about his reaction to the call, adding he obviously couldn’t go back to sleep. “But after talking to Dr. Mulder (again) there is some good news early this afternoon.
“We don’t expect him to be back during this series against the Flyers,” Bergevin said about Julien. “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 the head coach until Claude’s return. We understand that Kirk does not speak French but there 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.”
The Canadiens’ practised without Julien Thursday morning as they prepare for Game 2 of their best-of-seven first-round playoff series against the Flyers Friday afternoon at Scotiabank Arena (3 p.m., CBC, SN, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio).
“I know Claude talked to his wife early in the morning,” Bergevin said. “I don’t believe she’s on her way here. He’s in good hands at the hospital here and everything should be fine and we hope for the best. There was some positive news, so hopefully he could be ready shortly and go back home.”
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