The dust visibly settled very slowly for Dominique Ducharme. Smiling and relaxed, the former Montreal Canadiens manager first commented on his dismissal on Wednesday during his golf classic at Joliette.
“I’ve come a long way. It’s just a test, he told reporters who came to meet him. I’ve met many during my career. I’ll keep growing.”
Watch his press conference in the video above.
“There have been a lot of increases. A year ago we were preparing to play match number 5 of the final. It was an amazing experience. Then, at the beginning of the season, the first part of the season was more difficult with the changes. Management too.
Speaking from experience, Ducharme imagined that you don’t buy it like you buy a pint of milk at the store.
“There were several pitfalls during the first half of the season. To gain experience, you can’t go to Walmart to buy it. You have to face things like that. “
Could Ducharme do things differently or review some criticized strategies? The driver of the Joliette lets it be known that she sometimes questions herself.
“We always do. We did the same thing after the Stanley Cup final. We did it last year after the season. Whether it’s positive or more complicated, you always do it as a coach. Otherwise don’t go on “.
He offered St-Louis a place
Ducharme did not disclose whether he had an argument with Martin St-Louis, his successor who is a longtime friend who dates back to their years at the University of Vermont. We learned, however, that she offered her a job before last season.
“We’ve been in touch for a while,” he said vaguely. I contacted Martin last summer to join the coaching staff. He is a good hockey guy and I wish him the best of luck.
“He had things to do and decided not to join our group. I understand too “.
To find out what the future holds for Ducharme, he says he has had “discussions” with the teams, but will wait to find the job that best suits his goals.
“Of course the sting is still there, to inform Ducharme. I’ve done it all my life. I want to return as head coach in the National League. Last year, when we got to the tournament here, there were only three wins from the Stanley Cup. My goal is to have those three wins that were missing.
Little communication with Gorton and Hughes
Defender Jeff Petry is among the veterans who have criticized “the structure” under Ducharme’s orders, but the latter assures that he has never been cold to him.
“I had a good relationship with the players. With Jeff, it was a difficult situation with the start of the season and his family situation. It wasn’t easy for him, he argued while defending his former player.
“I have always tried to communicate better with everyone. There was nothing personal between him and me. It was maybe one in 100 situations for a season.
No return to Junior in sight
Ducharme admits he would have liked better communication with the new regime, namely Vice President Jeff Gorton and CEO Kent Hughes.
“There really weren’t any. I would have liked to have that meeting with Kent. At least to tell him how I saw things and how I perceived the future.
“We also see it elsewhere. When new people arrive, they want to turn the page in the old direction. “
While waiting for the right job offer, don’t expect to see Ducharme return to the youngsters any time soon.
“I’m in a situation where I still have a two-year contract, he clarifies.
“I am open to everything, but I feel that as a junior I did everything I had to”.