Canadiens Fire Ducharme

The Montreal Canadiens have relieved Dominique Ducharme of his duties, the team announced Wednesday. The Canadiens currently sit in last place in the league with an 8-30-7 record and are on a five-game losing streak.

Dominique Ducharme Luke Richardson Montreal Canadiens
Dominique Ducharme has been relieved of his duties as the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens after starting the 2021-22 season with a league-worst 8-30-7 record. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Ducharme was named the head coach of the Canadiens in February of 2021 and has coached 83 regular-season games with the Canadiens. In that time, the Canadiens have gone 23-46-14. Due to the league expanding the postseason in each of the last two seasons, however, the Canadiens were able to qualify for the playoffs.

In each of those playoff appearances, the team was able to win a series and create buzz about the team. In the 2019-20, the Canadiens beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 3-1 series in the qualifying round before losing to the Philadelphia Flyers in the official First Round of the playoffs. The following year, the Canadiens would shock the NHL when they’d make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final before losing the series 4-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Changes Aplenty for the Canadiens

It’s been all downhill from there for the Canadiens, though, as the team would enter the 2021-22 season without captain Shea Weber – whose career is threatened by lingering foot and ankle injuries, without Carey Price, the departure of Phillip Danault and more offseason changes in between. Unfortunately for Ducharme, he was unable to overcome the obstacles.

Earlier this season, the Canadiens would also relieve Marc Bergevin of his duties as the team’s general manager before hiring Jeff Gorton as executive vice president of hockey operations and Kent Hughes as the team’s new general manager.

In a statement released by the Canadiens, Hughes would thank Ducharme for his contributions to the Canadiens.

“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.”

With Ducharme out, the Canadiens have said that they will announce a new coach later in the day. As it stands, all of the existing assistant coaches in Alex Burrows, Eric Gravel, Mario Leblanc, Trevor Letowski, Eric Raymond and Luke Richardson are still with the team and their statuses remain unchanged.

Related: 3 Canadiens Coaching Candidates if Ducharme is Fired

It’s been a tumultuous season for the Canadiens but with major changes in place, the team seems to be acting accordingly. It was a bad hand for Ducharme, but when coaching one of the most historic franchises in the history of sports, the leash is always going to be a short one.

The hope is that any potential retooling of the Canadiens will be a quick one as the standard remains unchanged in Montreal. The Canadiens are in good hands with Gorton – who most recently had great success rebuilding the New York Rangers, and Hughes, a first-time general manager who has a plethora of experience with pro contracts as a long-time player agent.

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