Claude Julien, the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, has been hospitalized in Toronto.
The team announced the news on social media Thursday, saying Julien was experiencing chest pain Wednesday night.
“We immediately consulted our doctors and it was agreed to transfer him to the hospital by ambulance,” said general manager Marc Bergevin in a statement.
He said Julien remains in hospital where “he’s undergoing tests to determine the exact nature of his condition.”
“This has nothing to do with COVID,” said Bergevin.
Assistant coach Kirk Muller to take the role of head coach on an interim basis for now. It is likely Julien won’t be behind the bench until after this round against the Philadelphia Flyers.
“We don’t expect him to be back during this series against the Flyers,” said Bergevin.
The Flyers beat Montreal 2-1 Wednesday in a tight game and lead their best-of-seven series 1-0. The two teams will face off for the second time Friday afternoon.
The Habs, the last entry in the NHL’s 24-team restart to its delayed season, defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in four games in the qualifying round.
Julien has been a head coach since 2002 when he began his first run as coach of the Canadiens. After leading the Boston Bruins to the Stanley Cup in 2011, he returned to coach Montreal midway through the 2016-17 season.
— With files from the Canadian Press