The Montreal Canadiens fired Head Coach Dominique Ducharme on Wednesday afternoon following their 7-1 loss at home to the New Jersey Devils.
With the loss that leaves the Habs dead last in the NHL with a record of 8-30-7 and only 23 points in 45 games.
Ducharme departed the Habs with a 23-46-14 regular season record as he was named the interim head coach in February 2021 following the dismissal of Claude Julien.
He finished the shortened 2021 season with a 15-16-7 clinching 4th place in the North Division before making a run to the Stanley Cup Finals beating out the Maple Leafs, Jets and Golden Knights before losing to the Lightning in the Finals.
The Habs under Ducharme this season rank 31st in goals scored with 100 and dead last in goals against with 179, giving them a terrible -79 goal differential. Montreal has no skaters with over 10 goals this season with Suzuki, Anderson and Toffoli all at 9 goals each. They also have a team goals against average just shy of 4, and a team save percentage of .891, just truly horrific stats all around.
Ducharme’s firing comes after former GM Marc Bergevin was let go by the team and replaced by former New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton in November, when the team started the season with a 6-15-2 record.
It was announced a few hours later that the next head coach of the Canadiens would be Laval native and former Stanley Cup Champion, Martin St. Louis.
St. Louis was a former undrafted Free Agent who spent his 16 season NHL career split between the Flames, Lighting and the Rangers. He played in 1,134 NHL games racking up 1,033 points and also added 90 points in 103 career playoff games. St. Louis was also inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018.
He comes into the NHL with no previous head coaching experience, as he was behind the bench this year of the Mid Fairfield Rangers U13 AAA team in Connecticut.
At his first team press conference on Thursday he said “I’m not coming in as a substitute teacher, I’m coming here to show my work and we’ll see what happens this summer, but my intention is to stay here for a long time. But I’ll need to show and prove it.”
St. Louis’ first test as new head coach will come immediately as the team is set to take on the Washington Capitals Thursday night as a new era in Montreal Canadiens hockey is set to begin.