The Boston Globe reported Thursday night that Claude Julien will retain his job as coach of the Boston Bruins, returning for a ninth season as the team’s bench boss.

Julien’s future was in doubt after the team dismissed General Manager Peter Chiarelli in April, replacing him with assistant general manager Don Sweeney. Chiarelli hired Julien in 2007 and signed him to a three-year contract extension last November.

The Bruins went 41-27-14 this season to finish two points out a playoff spot – the first time in Julien’s tenure the team failed to reach the postseason.

The Globe report, which cited two NHL sources, also said the team would retain all of Julien’s assistant coaches. Neither Sweeney nor club president Cam Neely would comment.

 The NHL moved a step closer to a coaches’ challenge system Thursday, when the competition committee recommended allowing challenges for goals involving goalie interference and offside.

If approved by the NHLPA executive committee and board of governors, goalie interference challenges would be handled by referees at ice level and offside plays by the situation room in Toronto.

Also recommended was a change to faceoff rules in the defensive zone to make the defensive player put his stick down first, rather than the visiting player.

Washington Capitals center Eric Fehr had elbow surgery Wednesday and could be ready for the start of next season. Fehr, 29, will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.


SOFTBALL: Sanford High junior pitcher Jen Jones was named the Gatorade Maine Softball Player of the Year.

Jones helped the Spartans earn the third seed in the upcoming Western Class A tournament, going 14-2 for with a school-record 213 strikeouts in 114 innings pitched. She allowed just 77 hits and 36 walks while posting a 1.41 ERA.

Jones was also one of the team’s top hitters, batting .444 with one home run and 23 RBI. She scored 11 runs.

“As a pitcher she is a competitor, from batter to batter,” said Sanford Coach Michael Bailey. “She tries to win the battle on every pitch. And if something doesn’t go right, she knows she has to battle back. But more than her skill level, I’m proud of the way she has come along as a leader.”


NFL: Owners will hold a special meeting about a potential relocation of a team or teams to Los Angeles on Aug. 11 in Chicago.

The need became clear after the 32 owners were updated last month on stadium developments both in Los Angeles and in the three cities with teams interested in moving: San Diego, St. Louis and Oakland.

The Chicago gathering will be a fact-finding meeting to help set an agenda for a scheduled meeting in October.


FOOTBALL: Boston College and Georgia Tech will open the 2016 season in Ireland.

The game will be played Sept. 3, 2016, at 51,700-seat Aviva Stadium in Dublin, marking the ninth college football game played in Ireland.

MEN’S BASKETBALL: Clarence “Bevo” Francis, who had 113 points for Rio Grande College in a 1954 game and was one of college basketball’s great scorers, died Wednesday at his southern Ohio home. He was 82.

His 113 points set a record that was broken in 2012 by Grinnell’s Jack Taylor, who had 138.

– From staff and news services