Ducharme signs three-year extension, officially becomes Canadiens head coach

Now official Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme describes the bond he has with his players and how the relationship is built on respect, and says they're all on the same page and here for a reason.

The Montreal Canadiens have officially named Dominique Ducharme the 31st head coach in the organization's history and agreed to a three-year contract extension, the team announced Tuesday.

Ducharme, who led the Canadiens to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1993, was promoted to the role of interim head coach on Feb. 24 after the firing of Claude Julien.

"Dominique has managed to set his system in place and establish himself as a head coach in a very unusual season with challenging circumstances. 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," said general manager Marc Bergevin in a press release.

"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."

Under Ducharme, 48, the Canadiens posted a 15-16-7 regular-season record en route to the playoffs where they overcame a 3-1 deficit to their rival Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round, swept the Winnipeg Jets, ousted the powerhouse Vegas Golden Knights and advanced to the Final. There, Montreal's Cinderella run came to an end, getting eliminated in five games as the Tampa Bay Lightning repeated as champions.

Asked about his coaching staff for the 2021-22 season during his media availability later Tuesday, Ducharme said he wants assistants Luke Richardson and Alex Burrows to return to the Canadiens' bench alongside him.

"I don't see any changes with Luke and Alex," Ducharme told reporters. "I want them to be back with us. They did a really good job and they should be back. It's just a matter of time, for me."

He did state the club would like to add one member to the coaching staff to complete the bench after operating with three this past season.

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