Dominique Ducharme has been relieved of his head coaching duties.https://t.co/wSdkwrOMXC
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) February 9, 2022
Canadiens Head Coach Dominique Ducharme Fired
With only eight wins on the season through 44 games, general manager Kent Hughes has relieved Dominique Ducharme of his duties.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 9, 2022
It’s been a miserable season for the Stanley Cup finalists. After being expelled by the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games, the Canadiens have failed to replicate the type of on-ice play that marched them to an improbable run to the Finals.
Dominique Ducharme was hired as an assistant coach for Montreal back in 2018. Three years later he was promoted to interim head coach, after the firings to Claude Julien and Kirk Muller. Ducharme would lead the Canadiens to their first Stanley Cup appearance since they won it all back in 1993.
Ducharme would be awarded for his efforts shortly after. On July 13, 2021, he’d be formally named the 31st head coach in the franchise’s history and would sign a three-year extension. His tenure was short-lived, however, as just 44 games into the season, Dominique Ducharme has been shown the door.
Is Ducharme to Blame, or a Victim of Circumstance?
As for how much of the Canadien’s abysmal play should be shouldered by their coach is up for debate. Coming into the 2021-22 season the Canadiens were informed they’d be playing without star goalie Carey Price, whose efforts in the postseason willed the team to the Final. Then came the unfortunate news that veteran, star defenceman, Shea Weber, would likely have to hang up the skates due to injury.
These were massive blows to the roster, and one doesn’t fill the holes left by their absence easily.
Still, the Canadiens tried. But a five-game losing streak to start the year did nothing to ease the minds of its fans. Montreal has failed to record back-to-back wins this season and has had losing streaks of four or more games, on five separate occasions thus far.
Whether the demise of the Canadiens is Ducharme’s to bear or not, a shake-up behind the bench was needed. The status of assistant coaches Alex Burrows, Éric Gravel, Mario Leblanc, Trevor Letowski, Éric Raymond, and Luke Richardson remains unchanged.
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