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Claude Julien Fired By Montreal Canadiens, Ducharme Promoted

The Montreal Canadiens have fired head coach Claude Julien, along with associate coach Kirk Muller. Dominique Ducharme is now interim coach.

The Montreal Canadiens have made big changes behind the bench Wednesday as the team has released head coach Claude Julien and associate coach Kirk Muller of their duties. Dominique Ducharme, who had been serving as an assistant, will serve as interim head coach.

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Alexandre Burrows has joined the coaching staff, while Luke Richardson and Stephane Waite will retain their respective duties with the staff.

GM Marc Bergevin released a statement:

I would like to sincerely thank Claude and Kirk for their contributions to our team over the past five years during which we worked together. I have great respect for these two men whom I hold in high regard. In Dominique Ducharme, we see a very promising coach who will bring new life and new energy to our group. We feel that our team can achieve high standards and the time had come for a change.

The firings are not terribly surprising considering the recent struggles the Canadiens have gone through. When you factor in the offseason changes the GM made to improve the team and the projections for where the team would be in the new North Division, the club has vastly underperformed.

The Canadiens (9-5-4) have one win in their past six games (1-3-2) after 8-2-2 start to the season.

Claude Julien Montreal Canadiens coach
Claude Julien Montreal Canadiens coach fired

Julien made some interesting decisions during the team’s struggles. He scratched last year’s leading scorer in Tomas Tatar and when that didn’t work, Bergevin felt like he had no other choice but the spark this team with a drastic move.

Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports that there is not another change expected before the end of the season. Ducharme was a Canadiens assistant for two seasons. The 47-year-old coached Canada to first place at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship after a second-place finish the year before.

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