Canadiens fire assistant coaches Daigneault and Lacroix, add Ducharme

MONTREAL — Canadian world junior championship coach Dominique Ducharme has made the jump to the NHL as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens.

The Canadiens dropped assistant coaches Jean-Jacques Daigneault and Dan Lacroix and hired Ducharme away from the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Friday.

The club also gave a contract extension to goaltending coach Stephane Waite, who has been with the team for five years.

The moves are part of an off-season shakeup by a Canadiens team that missed the playoffs for a second time in three years. On April 17, the club fired Sylvain Lefebvre, coach of their American Hockey League team, the Laval Rocket, which also missed the playoffs. Lefebvre has yet to be replaced.

Ducharme, 45, has built an impressive resume in junior hockey and may be seen as a potential future replacement for Canadiens head coach Claude Julien.

The Joliette, Que., native coached 10 years in the QMJHL with Halifax and Drummondville. In 2013 he took a Mooseheads team that included future Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon and Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin to a Memorial Cup title, as well as winning the QMJHL coach of the year award.

He moved to Drummondville in 2016 to be closer to his family.

Ducharme coached Canada twice at the world juniors, winning silver in 2017 and gold in 2018.

“With Dominique, we are very confident that we hired an excellent coach, a man who proved himself at the junior level in the QMJHL,” Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement. “Furthermore, his experience on the international stage with Hockey Canada has given him valuable knowledge which will allow him to make the jump to the professional ranks.”

As a player, Ducharme was a centre at the University of Vermont in the early 1990s, where his teammates included future NHL stars Martin St. Louis and Tim Thomas. He later played minor pro before ending his career in France.

Julien inherited his coaching staff when he took over late in the 2016-17 campaign and kept them on this season.

“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,” Bergevin said.

The 52-year-old Daigneault, whose contract was expiring, joined the Canadiens staff in 2012. He played for the team from 1989 to 1995, winning a Stanley Cup in 1993.

Lacroix, 49, who had one year remaining on his contract, has been with the club since 2014 after previously working as an assistant with the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lighting and New York Rangers.

Just Posted

Rebels drop home opener to Oil Kings

The Edmonton Oil Kings were simply better than the Red Deer Rebels… Continue reading

Diesel spilled in Penhold neighbourhood

Penhold Fire Department responded

House fire in Penhold

Damage estimated at $30,000

Red Deer Players host play reading for public

Audience feedback for playwright

Sylvan Lake cleanup cancelled

Weather prompts cancellation

RDC Kings topple Medicine Hat College Rattlers

Kings Matheus Alves scores twice in the win

Nurse leads Canada over South Korea 82-63 at FIBA Women’s World Cup

TENERIFE, Spain — Kia Nurse poured in 29 points to lift Canada… Continue reading

Aretha Franklin exhibit debuts with eye toward her legacy

DETROIT — The Detroit museum that hosted Aretha Franklin’s public visitations after… Continue reading

‘Anaana’s Tent’ passes Inuit songs, legends, language to a new generation

In Pangnirtung, Nunavut, on the eastern tip of Baffin Island, Rita Claire… Continue reading

Housing data decision opens door to real estate innovation, say realtors

TORONTO — Realtor Daniel Steinfeld has wanted to post home sales data… Continue reading

Ty Long kicks winning field goal, Lions come back to beat Ticats in OT

VANCOUVER — Ty Long was eager for a special moment, and he… Continue reading

Indigenous eateries take centre stage in Canada thanks to increasing awareness

VANCOUVER — Since Paul Natrall started serving Indigenous cuisine from his Mr.… Continue reading

Canada’s capital region reeling after intense tornado rips through communities

OTTAWA — Parts of Canada’s national capital were still reeling Saturday after… Continue reading

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — The head coach of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns… Continue reading

Most Read