Montreal | Dominic Ducharme at the age of 47 got his first chance as a head coach. The little guy from Juliet, Mark Bergevin remembers, will take his first steps while organizing his childhood, the Montreal Canadiens.
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Ducharme will not reach an unknown world. Since the 2018-2019 season, he found himself behind the CH seat in the role of Claude Julian’s assistant. He now has a responsibility to replace him.
“If you tell me, you will write a movie and it ends [avec le fait que tu deviens] Canada coach Ducharme said that was not the scenario I would have chosen. Meaning I was already with the team. Today I have mixed feelings. I lose two of my colleagues whom I really value. Claude is an extraordinary person. He who opened the door for me. Over the years, she has also been introduced to Kirk [Muller]. Despite this, I am excited about the challenge and feel ready. “
“We are all in the same boat. We all want the same thing. Now we have to make sure we are pushing in the same direction with our plan.”
Calm and calm
There may have been a lot of things going on in Ras Ducharme. Events were unfolding at a somewhat surprising speed. Before leaving the team for Winnipeg, he learned that he was inheriting the title of interim coach. Bergevin sent the news to him at the team hotel in Ottawa the day after he lost 5-4 on penalties.
On board, Ducharme discussed with Luke Richardson, Stéphane Waite, and Alex Burrows strategies to be implemented to straighten the boat. When he got off the plane, he quickly took a seat in the Delta Conference Hall in downtown Winnipeg to attend his first press conference.
Despite the context, Ducharme remained calm, answering questions without falling into a wave of emotions. We felt that he was in control.
“I feel prepared. When you are ready for your exam at school, you don’t care about the questions, you are ready to answer, as you can imagine. You are nervous if you haven’t studied. I trust the group, the men I work with.”
But former Halifax Mooseheads and Drummondville Voltigeurs coach did not elaborate on his build plan. He stayed on the surface because he hadn’t yet had a chance to introduce him to his players.
He replied, “We want to have a plan, a plan that will be clear.” There is still a lot of work to be done. I have to sit with the coaches. I’ll be meeting the guys tonight. We’ll set goals. We’ll start this way. I will want to make changes in all three areas, but I’ll let my players know that first. “
Ducharme will also have pressure to win quickly. Bergevin repeated it more than once during his press conference. There are high expectations with this group.
“If we found the bar was too high, what would we do in the sport? It’s the best league in the world. If you can’t compete, you’re in the wrong place.”
From guest to trusted man
In the summer of 2014, Ducharme received an invitation from Michel Therrien to work as a guest coach at the team development camp. He was accompanied by another good young coach from Quebec’s Rising Hockey League (QMJHL) at Eric Philo, who managed By Como Dracar.
A year earlier, Ducharme led Nathan McKinnon, Jonathan Drwin and the Mooseheads to beat the President’s Cup and Memorial Cup.
“It was a long way for me.” Ducharme remembers, I didn’t take the highway, I took the small road. It starts from afar. I always told myself that when I stopped playing, I wanted to become a coach in the National Hockey League. From one challenge to the next, he took me to Here… now there is a lot of [chemin] To browse. ”
In his third season with Habs, Ducharme now feels better equipped to play the role of chef.
“Every year you are better. You have to challenge yourself as a coach to improve yourself. If I had stayed in another season as an assistant, I would have learned other things. Today, I will be living another adventure as a head coach. It also originated from my experience as a junior, on the international stage and [lors de] Two years as an assistant. ”
Idea for Jack
Ducharme retracted a few words from his biggest supporter, his father, Jack. In Helsinki in December 2015, he mourned the loss of his father when he took an assistant position with Team Canada (ECJ) at the World Junior Championships.
“With Hockey Canada, it was helpful, because he left during the tournament. This tournament will always be tied to his departure. He’s emotional. I wish he was here today. I don’t know what’s going on upstairs, but someone has to have a big smile.”