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NHL-worst Montreal Canadiens fire coach Dominique Ducharme

The Montreal Canadiens have fired head coach Dominique Ducharme, the team announced Wednesday. The club is expected to announce a replacement later in the day.

"We would like to sincerely thank Dominique for his work and contributions to the Montreal Canadiens organization," said general manager Kent Hughes. "At this point in the  season, we felt it was in the best interest of the club to make a change."

 
 

Ducharme became head coach in Montreal on July 31, 2021, signing a three-year deal that removed his own interim label. After joining the Canadiens in 2018 as an assistant, Ducharme had been promoted to replace fired coach Claude Julien in February 2021 before securing a longer-term pact.

 

While he was interim head coach, Ducharme led the Canadiens to an unlikely Stanley Cup Final appearance last season in the NHL's pandemic-shortened campaign. Montreal has been a shadow of itself since then, though, sitting dead last in the NHL this year with an 8-30-7 record.

 

Ducharme's firing comes after perhaps the Canadiens' worst loss of the season Tuesday, a 7-1 drubbing against New Jersey. The 48-year-old now leaves Montreal with an overall 23-46-12 mark.

 

This is the second major shift for the Canadiens this season. The first was general manager Marc Bergevin being relieved of his duties in November and Jeff Gorton being hired as executive vice president of hockey operations. Then last month, the Canadiens introduced Hughes as their new general manager. It is Hughes' first such position in hockey, after spending most of his career as a player agent.

 

The status of Montreal assistant coaches Alex Burrows, Éric Gravel, Mario Leblanc, Trevor Letowski, Éric Raymond and Luke Richardson remains unchanged.

Edited by Brewin Flames
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Canadiens fire head coach Dominique Ducharme

 
Canadiens fire coach
 

Things happen quickly in the NHL. Less than a year after taking over as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens and helping lead them to a stunning Stanley Cup Final run, a performance that earned him a three-year contract extension, Dominique Ducharme has been fired by the team.

 

The team said in a statement on Wednesday that the next head coach will be announced later in the day, and the status of all assistant coaches on the roster remains unchanged.

 

“We would like to sincerely thank Dominique for his work and contributions to the Montreal Canadiens organization,” general manager Kent Hughes said in the team statement. “At this point in the season, we felt it was in the best interest of the club to make a change.”

 

The final straw for the Canadiens came on Tuesday night by getting blown out by a New Jersey Devils team that had not only lost 10 of its previous 11 games (including seven in a row), but was also playing without its best player (Jack Hughes).

 

It was just the latest ugly loss in what has quickly become a lost season that has completely changed the overall direction of the franchise. Earlier this season general manager Marc Bergevin was fired, resulting in the hiring of Jeff Gorton to lead hockey operations and Hughes to take over as general manager.

 

Before the Canadiens hired Hughes, Gorton said that Ducharme would remain as the coach for the remainder of the season.

 

The Canadiens currently have the worst record in hockey and are on pace for the worst record in franchise history.

 
 

Offseason departures (Philip Danault, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Tomas Tatar), the unexpected season long absence to key players (Carey Price, Shea Weber), and a lack of progress from young core players (specifically preseason Calder Trophy favorite Cole Caufield) have all added up to this.

 

There was always an expectation that the Canadiens were going to take a step back this season. Their Stanley Cup Final run was primarily driven by an out-of-this-world performance by Price in net as he put the team on his back in the playoffs, while the unconventional divisional alignment and playoff format also played a role.

 

Had the Canadiens not been in the North Division with the other Canadian teams there is a good chance they do not even qualify for the playoffs in a normal season, let alone go on the run they went on.

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Canadiens name St. Louis interim head coach

The Montreal Canadiens have named Martin St. Louis interim head coach, the team announced on Wednesday.

TSN.ca Staff

 

Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes announced on Wednesday that Martin St. Louis has been appointed interim head coach, replacing Dominique Ducharme, who was relieved of his duties earlier in the day. 

"We are very happy to welcome Martin to the Canadiens organization," said Hughes. "Not only are we adding an excellent hockey man, but with Martin we are bringing in a proven winner and a man whose competitive qualities are recognized by all who have crossed his path."

St. Louis was hired as the Columbus Blue Jackets' Special Teams Consultant in Jan, 2019. He was inducted into the hockey Hall of Fame in 2018, his first year of eligibility.

The Laval, QC, native played 16 NHL seasons with the Lightning, Calgary Flames, and New York Rangers, registering 391 goals and 1,033 points in 1,134 games. St. Louis won a Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004 and a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The Canadiens fired Ducharme earlier on Wednesday, ending his 83 regular-season game tenure with a 23-46-14 record.

"We would like to sincerely thank Dominique for his work and contributions to the Montreal Canadiens organization. At this point in the season, we felt it was in the best interest of the club to make a change," Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes said in a statement.

The Canadiens sit last in the NHL with an 8-30-7 record, and have lost 13 of their past 14 games, including seven straight. 

Montreal has fired their head coach and general manager, Marc Bergevin, just one season after making a run to the Stanley Cup Final. 

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40 minutes ago, OccamsRazor said:

St. Louis really has he been coaching somewhere?

 

Was this out of left field?

 

Sorta seems like outta nowhere, doesn't it?

He hasn't had a coaching gig.
Consultant with the Blue Jackets with Torts when he was there, but yea, that's it.

 

On the flip side, MSL was regarded as a "player coach" when he played for TB and the NYR, so maybe he just has those kinds of chops.
Montreal better hope so....

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12 hours ago, Brewin Flames said:

Had the Canadiens not been in the North Division with the other Canadian teams there is a good chance they do not even qualify for the playoffs in a normal season, let alone go on the run they went on.

Can't agree with this part of the article, Carey Price and Shea Webber was main reason Montreal made the run they did - add that to all the other losses to their roster and it a totally different team than the one that made it to the Cup finals.

 

I'd agree with firing the GM since it his fault for not keeping the players he lost, personally I would have given the GM another year since alot of the losses would've been too expensive to keep anyways, but the coach isn't to blame - even though I don't really think Ducharme is a very good coach anyways, and not sure if St Louis is ready for NHL head coach at all...it's like Gretzky isn't the best coach even though he's the best player that everyone loves and respects.

Edited by Villella McMeans
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