Following a season in which they finished dead last, something had to give in Laval. That was the case on Tuesday as the Canadiens relieved Sylvain Lefebvre of his duties as head coach.
Lefebvre was one of the longer-tenured coaches in the AHL as he spent the last six years behind the bench with Montreal’s affiliates (Hamilton, St. John’s, and Laval). However, despite the job security, his teams didn’t have a lot of success – they only made the playoffs once in that span, winning all of one game. Overall, his teams posted a record of 188-217-58.
On top of the lack of success in the win-loss column, there were plenty of questionable decisions made in terms of his lineup, ones that often went against the stated goal of player development. And speaking of development, quite a few prospects have underachieved under his watch. That said, to be fair, a handful of prospects held their own with the big club this past season so he deserves some of the credit there.
As for the rest of the coaching staff – defence coach Donald Dufresne, forward coach Nick Carriere, and goalie coach Marco Marciano – a decision will be made about their futures by the next head coach. Dufresne, in particular, could be in danger as Laval’s defence was dreadful in 2017-18 while Carriere’s future may be tied to that of his father, Rocket GM Larry Carriere.
Who the next coach will be remains to be seen. QMJHL bench bosses Dominique Ducharme and Joel Bouchard are the early speculative favourites but some other coaches will likely get an interview as well. If they have interest in some other junior coaches, they may have to wait another month or so before they can talk to them which could drag this process out somewhat.