Changes were promised to Montreal Canadiens hockey staff and the team’s leadership met that commitment on Friday with the appointment of Dominique Ducharme as assistant coach-coach. chef Claude Julien.
In a press release issued shortly before lunchtime, the Canadiens also announced the departure of assistant coaches Jean-Jacques Daigneault and Dan Lacroix and the awarding of a new contract to the goalkeeping coach. Stéphane Waite.
The Canadiens will hold a press briefing at 3:00 pm at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard where Ducharme and Julien will be available.
Ducharme, 45, has spent the last 10 seasons coaching the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, including the last seven as a head coach. Between 2011 and 2016, he led the Halifax Mooseheads before joining the Drummondville Voltigeurs in 2016.
According to the official website of the QMJHL, Ducharme has built a record of 255 wins and 195 losses, including overtime and shootout losses, in 450 games of the regular calendar. He added 49 wins in 78 playoff games.
Ducharme was the recipient of the Paul Dumont Trophy, presented to the QMJHL personality of the year, during the last season.
“In Dominica, we are confident we have an excellent coach,” said general manager Marc Bergevin in a statement.
“Dominique has a proven track record in junior hockey in the QMJHL, and his international experience with Hockey Canada brings him a wealth of critical knowledge that allows him to make the leap among professionals.”
On the international scene, Ducharme started in 2011 as a World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and then with the 2013 U-18 team at the Ivan-Hlinka tournament. He distinguished himself as the head coach of the Canadian team at the 2017 and 2017 World Junior Hockey Championships, giving the Canadian nation silver and gold, respectively.
In 2002-2003, at the end of a 15-season career as a player, having climbed the ranks of the Midget AAA Hockey League at the Quebec Senior Hockey League, through five campaigns in France, Ducharme started as a coach (as an assistant) with the Patriotes of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. He also led the formation of Joliette at the Junior AAA level, before moving to the Courteau circuit as an assistant with the Montreal Junior in 2008-2009.
Aged 52, Jean-Jacques Daigneault joined the Canadiens coaching staff on June 15, 2012. During his playing career in the NHL, Daigneault played for Canadians from 1989 to 1995, winning the Stanley Cup with the team in 1993.
Dan Lacroix, 49, joined the Canadiens coaching staff on July 30, 2014. He has been an NHL assistant coach for the past 11 seasons, including working with the New York Islanders, the Lightning. Tampa Bay, New York Rangers and Canadians.
There was still a year left in the contract at Lacroix while that of Daigneault expired at the end of the last season.
“Claude Julien and I take the time to thoroughly evaluate the work of our existing staff, and we have jointly made this difficult decision to make this change in the coaching staff,” said Bergevin, referring to departures of Daigneault and Lacroix.
Stéphane Waite has been coaching Canadiens goalkeepers since July 4, 2013. The Canadiens did not specify the duration of his new deal.