Head coach Dominique Ducharme has been fired by the Montreal Canadiens.
TVA Sports’ Jean-Charles Lajoie first reported the Ducharme news, stating that an announcement of his release was “imminent.”
— Jean-Charles Lajoie (@JiCLajoie) February 9, 2022
The Canadiens organization later confirmed the news.
“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,” said Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes in the team’s official release. The team added his replacement would be announced later today.
Dominique Ducharme originally joined the team as an assistant coach back in 2018, and was in just his second season as the head coach of the Canadiens.
Ducharme took over the reins from Claude Julien in the midst of the shortened 2021 campaign and received plenty of credit for driving the team’s surprise run to last year’s Stanley Cup Finals.
Ducharme had actually signed a three-season extension prior to this season in July, removing the previously held interim tag from his title.
But Montreal was in the midst of one of its worst seasons in history, having won just eight of its first 45 games this season, as they sat firmly last in the 32-team NHL.
The news is the second major departure for the Canadiens in the past few months, with former general manager Marc Bergevin being let go in December. Ducharme will finish off his Canadiens tenure with a record of 23-46-14 in 82 regular season games.