Montreal Canadiens Name Dominique Ducharme Assistant Coach

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The Montreal Canadiens announced a shake-up of their coaching staff. The team has hired Dominique Ducharme as an assistant coach while firing J.J. Daigneault and Dan Lacroix. Also announced was a contract extention for goaltending coach, Stephane Waite.

Montreal Canadiens Name Dominique Ducharme Assistant Coach

This is the second major coaching move of the off-season for the Montreal Canadiens, who fired AHL head coach Sylvain Lefebvre and his staff April 15th. Ducharme was considered a candidate for the AHL position before being announced as an assistant coach with the Habs.

General Manager Marc Bergevin is continuing his off-season makeover by removing the two assistants. Daignault has bee with the club since he was hired by then head coach Michel Therrien in 2012. Lacroix joined the Habs in 2014 when Gerard Gallant was hired by the Florida Panthers. In a statement released by the Canadiens, Bergevin said:

“I want to sincerely thank Jean-Jacques and Dan for their contribution to the Canadiens’ organization, and particularly their work with our Club’s young players over the years. I got to know JJ and Dan several years ago, and I know how much both care for the success of the Canadiens’ organization. Claude Julien and I are committed to fully evaluating the work of our personnel, and we both agreed to make this difficult decision, and to proceed with these changes in our coaching staff”.

Getting To Know Dominique Ducharme

The 45-year-old coach has spent 10 seasons plying his trade in the QMJHL. The last seven have been with the Halifax Mooseheads (2011-2016) and the Drummondville Voltigeurs (2016-2018). He has also been heavily involved with Hockey Canada.

Ducharme has had success in player development and coaching young talent as proven by his record in the “Q”. He also has shown an ability to manage a group of high-end players on the cusp of the NHL during his time with Hockey Canada.

QMJHL

While coaching the Mooseheads, Ducharme had a record of 267-169-24. In 2012-13 Ducharme coached the Mooseheads to a CHL best 58-6-3-1. This earned him the QMJHL coach of the year award. The Joliette native also guided the Mooseheads to the Memorial Cup title. During his time in Halifax, Dominique Ducharme posted a playoff record of 52-26.

With Drummondville, Ducharme guided the Voltigeurs to two consecutive playoff appearances.

Hockey Canada

Dominique Ducharme has been apart of Hockey Canada since 2011 when he was an assistant at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. He also served as an assistant in the 2013 Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Most would be familiar with Ducharme as the head coach of Canada’s World Junior Championship teams the past two years. Under Ducharme, Team Canada made the finals in both 2017 and 2018, winning the gold medal in 2018.

What’s Next?

It always was expected to be a busy off-season for the Canadiens. After finishing the season out of the playoffs, changes were expected. Still, the team has now made two major changes to the organization within two weeks of each other. While not mentioned in the statement, Claude Julien must have been a part of the decision making on this matter. Since his hire, Julien has not made any changed to the coaching staff he inherited from Michel Therrien.

An interesting side to this announcement is Ducharme’s past with current Canadien Jonathan Drouin. Ducharme coached Drouin in Halifax from 2011-2014. All be it at the junior level, but Drouin excelled under Ducharme. In his 128 games in Halifax, Drouin netted 77 goals and 242 points. In the playoffs, Drouin amassed 34 goals and 68 points in 50 games, including nine points in the 2013 Memorial Cup. After a disappointing first season in Montreal, perhaps the Canadiens are hoping Ducharme can help Drouin find his game.

With all this action around the team, fans and media must be wondering; what does Marc Bergevin have planned for the rest of the off-season?

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