OTTAWA - The Juliens can trace their successes to hard work and a bit of chocolate milk.
That’s how brothers Claude and Rick would start their days at Rick’s Navan roofing company — a trip to the walk-in fridge at Bradley’s General Store for a snack and a 500-ml carton of chocolate milk.
It’s a tradition Rick continues to this day.
According to the elder Julien, Claude never mailed it in as a roofer, his summer occupation even after he was hired in 1996 to coach the Hull Olympiques.
“My dad would say, ‘OK, at 2 p.m. you can leave, you got things to do with the team,’ ” recalled Rick.
It’s how he kept in shape for almost 15 years until the NHL finally put an end to his career with Almar Roofing.
Rick has been giving his brother some space and was planning to call him Thursday night for the first time in about four days.
“I’m the type of guy that tries not to be a distraction,” he said.
Rick said it wasn’t until the ice-level team photo, with his brother in the middle of a pile of sweaty, beat-up players surrounding the hardest to win trophy in professional sports that the Stanley Cup win began to sink in.
“My dad introduced us to organized hockey and what I saw (Wednesday night) was the way he was coaching in Hull,” said Rich.
Patriarch Marcel Julien flew to Vancouver for Game 7 with his wife. Rick said even with all his brother’s successes over the years, he’s never seen his father so happy.
If the Bruins had lost the opening series with Montreal, there was talk Julien would be fired. It’s not something the family talks about — even though it could have meant an opportunity to coach in Ottawa.
“For sure, when you hear things like that, it really hurts us,” Rick said.
“I guess like the line says, ‘You were hired to get fired.’ But I think he proved to the hockey world that he is a very good coach and he can get his team to play.”
Rick watched the first two periods of Wednesday’s game at home before he finally gave in and accepted the invitation of General Store owner John Bradley to come over and watch with him.
Rick and his wife were given reserved seats right in front of the TV.
“I was just praying to God that Boston didn’t blow the lead,” said Bradley.
Rick hopes his brother, who has a place along the Rideau River, will be able to bring the Cup home to Navan in August for the community’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
That, he said, would more than make up for not being chosen CBC’s Hockeyville.