The Montreal Canadiens sorely need some wins, considering they are the NHL’s worst team with just eight victories to go with 30 losses and seven overtime losses this season.
But they also need a new head coach, as the club on Wednesday announced the firing of head coach Dominique Ducharme.
Shortly after announcing Ducharme’s departure, the Canadiens named Hockey Hall of Fame forward Martin St. Louis as interim head coach.
“We would like to sincerely thank Dominique for his work and contributions to the Montreal Canadiens organization,” general manager Kent Hughes said in a statement. “At this point in the season, we felt it was in the best interest of the club to make a change.”
Ducharme took over as interim head coach in February 2021 following the firing of ex-Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien. After a Stanley Cup Final appearance in the 2020-21 season, Ducharme signed a three-year deal as head coach in July 2021.
Obviously things haven’t gone as planned in his first full season at the helm. Ducharme departs the club with a 23-46-12 record — and with time remaining on that three-year deal, which reportedly pays him about $1.75 million per season.
The Canadiens can just add it to their tab, as NHL insider Pierre LeBrun noted Julien still is owed $5 million in salary.