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Dominique Ducharme |  At peace with Montreal, on the way to Vegas

Dominique Ducharme | At peace with Montreal, on the way to Vegas

(Juliette) Dominique Ducharme feels at peace with his experience with Habs. He believes that what he experienced will only benefit him in the future.

I withdraw the experiment [avec le Canadien] complete. This is how we continue to progress. »

said the new assistant coach of the Vegas Golden Knights in an interview with JournalismThursday morning at Joliet Golf Club.

The first start of 4H An edition of his golf tournament had just been played, around 7:30 a.m., when Ducharme took the time to answer our questions.

In the past year and a half, the 50-year-old has taken a step back. He traveled, went to help his former team in France, visited friends. If he is given many opportunities at different levels, he doesn’t particularly want to “get into any situation just to get back” in the National League.

So listen, discuss and think.

A few days after winning the Golden Knights award, he received a phone call from Bruce Cassidy. The head coach of the Nevada Troopers had heard of him through Kelly McCrimmon, who was an assistant with Ducharme on Junior Team Canada in the past.

Cassidy had a similar start to Ducharme in the National League. Hired as head coach by the Washington Capitals for the 2002-03 season, he was fired after a year and a half due to the team’s failures.

“He definitely revised a little bit of what he experienced when we were talking about it all,” Ducharme recalls. He’s as inspirational as Mike Sullivan in Pittsburgh. He’s been there too. Even Alain Vignault, Michel Therrien. There have been others.”

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“Maybe my trip reminded him of him,” he adds. I’m glad he’s a guy with experience. They just won too. »

According to Quebecer, the opportunity the Golden Knights offered him was “perfect”.

“I want to continue to develop as a coach. I will see other things, other ways of doing things. Working with people like this is what I wanted. Not just the location. That’s the whole situation.”

“I will also be able to contribute to the team. It is a competitive team that has just won and has the ambition to repeat as soon as possible. All together…”

Beautiful and less beautiful

If Dominique Ducharme has not been the head coach of the Canadiens for more than a year and a half, his name often comes up in discussions. Some hold him responsible for CH’s failure in the first half of the 2021-2022 season. However, this naming does not bother the main interested party too much.

“It’s a little bit down the spine, in the sense that these people aren’t in there. They don’t know. If you run into Cole [Caufield] Today, I will be glad to see him and he will be glad to see me. »

At the time, the Canadian was in a difficult situation with COVID-19. After a devastating season break to manage the club (the end of Shea Weber’s career, the departures of Philippe Danault and Jespery Kotkaniemi …), Ducharme had to deal with an incomplete list, constantly reduced by injuries.

“With what we’ve been through, I have my responsibilities. The players have their responsibilities. Everyone has their responsibility. We got to the final not only because of me. I did my part, the players did their part. We put it all together. When things don’t go well, we all take our responsibilities. »

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“I understand the passion. Everyone wants to see Canadians succeed. That’s part of it, I get that. The first day I arrived, I knew I had 8 million helpers with me. Some have X ideas, some Y ideas. In the end, it goes along with what you think.” With your own values, with your ways of working.”

“I will not change anything. I will keep the same team that played the last game against Tampa.”

Quiet Ducharme talks about all these moments. As a Quebec native who grew up as a Habs fan, he always knew just how far a head coach role for a Montreal club could lead to highs and lows. This experience has now become synonymous with learning.

” [Avoir été entraîneur du Canadien]It is something that will serve me forever, both the good aspects and the negative aspects. It’s just part of the journey. »

Good stuff

Ducharme makes no secret of it: Like any coach, his goal is to one day win back his place as a head coach in the National League. But he does not wait and does not run out of patience. on the contrary.

“I’m really in the moment, I’m really happy with the situation. I think when you do the right things, good things happen to you. I don’t have timetable. I trust in life. »

He continues: “I will continue to develop, to gain experience as a coach. One day, I think it will happen and I will gain more experience than today.”