With the Habs making it to the Stanley Cup Final, it was only a matter of time before the interim title was removed from head coach Dominique Ducharme. That happened Tuesday with the announcement that the bench boss has signed a three-year deal.
GM Marc Bergevin released the following statement:
“Dominique has managed to set his system in place and establish himself as a head coach in a very unusual season with challenging circumstances. While our team has gone through its fair share of adversity, he has shown a lot of control over the situation as well as showing calm and great leadership. These are important qualities that we look for in a head coach and he fully deserves the chance to lead our team and take it to the next level.”
Ducharme took over behind the bench in late February with Montreal in the midst of a lengthy struggle following their strong start to the season. The team went 15-16-7 under his tutelage, hardly an inspiring mark as they backed their way into the playoffs. However, as we all know, the Canadiens overcame a 3-1 series deficit to Toronto and made it through that round plus two more, cementing Ducharme’s status in the process.
While Ducharme is in place, his coaching staff could look different. Alex Burrows is a candidate to return to Laval to take over as head coach there in place of Joel Bouchard while defensive assistant Luke Richardson’s deal is expiring. Accordingly while there will be some consistency in terms of the head coach, there could very well be more changes to come in the coming weeks.