Let’s cut right to the chase.

Tuesday’s announcement by the Boston Bruins had nothing to do with trying to bury Claude Julien’s dismissal under the tires of the duck boats carting the New England Patriots around on their victory parade through the city’s streets. Professional sports teams, and their executives especially, live and breathe in insulated worlds.

They are selfish. They treat their franchises as if they are the only thing of consequence in the entire world. Frankly, if they weren’t doing such we’d run them out of town for not caring as much as the rest of us do.

The optics might not have been the best as Bruins general manager Don Sweeney stepped up to a podium following the team’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena in the Boston suburbs, but the decision to axe Julien after the most successful run behind the bench in franchise history was coming no matter what.

The timing was curious, to say the least. The visual of one of New England’s cornerstone franchises celebrating a championship with thousands of believers in the streets while another such franchise stumbled over words, sidestepped questions and left far more uncertainty than certainty about their own competitive future was striking.

When coaches get fired, we want answers.

Why was he fired? Why was he fired now? What is the plan going forward? Do you believe you’re in a better place this morning than you were exactly 24 hours before?

Sadly, for Bruins fans anyway, none of those questions were answered. Instead, you watched the press conference and read through the tea leaves and could only come to the conclusion that Julien was being blamed for his inability to get consistency out of a roster that is dotted with American Hockey League or East Coast Hockey League-level talent.

That, or Sweeney and Julien simply didn’t get along.

Sweeney seemed to address separate issues on the question of why fire Julien.

He said he didn’t think it was fair for Julien to have to keep answering questions about inconsistent play night after night. He said he wanted to evaluate the entirety of the roster at the NHL level without Julien, which leaves open the possibility that he honestly believes the team could achieve more with the veteran of more than 400 career wins and a Stanley Cup on his resume than without him. And, a few breaths later, Sweeney talked openly about not wanting to commit long-term to Julien, whose contract was set to expire at the end of the 2017-2018 season.

And while none of those reasons for firing Julien are congruent with one another, they go nowhere near addressing the timing of the firing.

Nearly a full month remains until the NHL trading deadline. The Bruins are three games from their league-imposed week-long break afforded to all teams this season in the face of a compact schedule. Despite a meltdown against Toronto at home Saturday, the Bruins have played better hockey of late — with wins over Tampa, Pittsburgh and Detroit in succession at the end of January.

They are far better than they were in the middle of the month.

Parting ways with Julien at the beginning of this season, or at the end of it, would have made more sense if it were about a contract dispute, a roster overhaul or simple playoff qualification.

Interim head coach Bruce Cassidy was promoted to the Boston staff last offseason after a strong five-year run with AHL Providence. But is success at the minor-league level a direct ticket to NHL success? Hardly. Even with a roster of AHL players, it’s difficult to imagine any of them will be better in the NHL simply because they have a history with Cassidy.

AHL players are AHL players for a reason, and the Bruins have plenty of them dressed in big boy clothes each night. Ryan Spooner, Riley Nash, Austin Czarnik, Zane McIntyre, Frank Vatrano, and Joe Morrow, for example. Even Brandon Carlo isn’t deserving of being a top-pair defenseman in the NHL, and Colin Miller is wildly inconsistent.

Cassidy isn’t going to win with those names. Claude Julien certainly couldn’t, at least not regularly. Scotty Bowman or Al Arbour wouldn’t have been able to, either.

Sweeney’s plan is to wait for a bunch of draft picks, college players and minor leaguers to develop into NHL talent. That’s his long-term vision. If you want to see how that works out, check out the Maple Leafs over the last decade.

Even Mike Babcock isn’t able to turn that group into much more than a competitive NHL team that — entering Tuesday — was tied with the Bruins on 58 points.

The real reason is that Sweeney and team president Cam Neely don’t have any idea how to build a successful on-ice product. They don’t believe you can win the way former GM Peter Chiarelli did when he guided the Bruins to the Cup finals in three years, but they aren’t able to see that other franchises using a similar blueprint is producing underwhelming results.

If anything, the Bruins did Claude Julien a favor on Tuesday, because he’ll land in a better spot where his accomplishments are valued.

Their fans? Not so much.

It’s going to be a long end to the winter for the Bruins, especially with the one person trying to hold it all together is now gone.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC