The Montreal Canadiens officially named Dominique Ducharme the 31st head coach in franchise history on Tuesday after signing him to a three-year contract extension.
“Dominique has managed to set his system in place and establish himself as a head coach in a very unusual season with challenging circumstances,” general manager Marc Bergevin said. “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.”
The Canadiens promoted Ducharme from assistant coach to interim head coach in February after firing Claude Julien. The 48-year-old went 15-16-7 during the regular season before guiding Montreal to the Stanley Cup Final, where the Habs fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games.
Ducharme previously coached Canada’s World Junior team for two years, winning gold in 2018.
The Habs enter the 2021-22 campaign with high expectations as the NHL returns to a normal schedule. Montreal will compete in a tough Atlantic Division alongside the Lightning, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers, among others, next season.