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Vegas: Dominique Ducharme already knew GM Kelly McCrimmon

In recent days, the Vegas Golden Knights have announced the hiring of Dominique Ducharme as assistant coach to Bruce Cassidy, the team’s chief pilot.

This marks his return to the NHL for the first time since leaving Montreal.

We know that his phone has been ringing off the hook at several levels over the past few weeks, but we didn’t know for which position and in which league. I don’t know to what extent he was considered for head coaching positions in different leagues, but here he is, back in the NHL.

Remember that when the news broke, we knew he’d found a job out West, but we didn’t know where. Speculation was therefore rife.

And logically, people were looking for connections. Did André Tourigny go looking for him? Did Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin push for their junior coach? Did Marc Bergevin put his foot down?

Why do we make such links? Because that’s often how things work in the business. Unless you’re the Mike Babcock of 2015 that everyone wants, having connections helps.

It’s normal to want to work with people you know.

And if Ducharme didn’t know Knights coach Bruce Cassidy personally, it’s worth remembering that he knows not only Sean Burke, but also Vegas GM Kelly McCrimmon. That’s what he told 98.5 Sports radio last night.

In fact, it’s with Team Canada that the two men have rubbed shoulders in the past. McCrimmon proposed Ducharme’s candidacy to his coach, and that’s when the former CH pilot sold his salad.

From what we can gather, the Quebecer impressed Cassidy, an Ottawa man who speaks a little French, enough to convince him to offer him the job.

His experience as a guy who made it to the Cup Final in 2021 (and as a guy who beat Vegas to do it, something no one has done since) and who has lived through the Montreal jungle no doubt helped.

The fact that Cassidy also experienced a similar journey (he worked in Washington as a coach before taking a step back and finally returning to Boston years later) may have helped create a bond. Because without it, Ducharme wouldn’t have got the job.

But hey. Whatever the reasons, Ducharme found himself a job in the best league in the world. He took some time to step back and rest from the Montreal adventure, and now he’s back on his feet.

Armed with his experience in Montreal in one of the most stressful positions in field hockey, he’ll want to do a good job in Vegas… and one day, maybe he’ll get the chance to prove he’s not just an assistant. That remains to be seen.

En rafale

– Ah well yes.

– Further proof that the deal could be wrapped up soon.

– Pierre-Luc Dubois feels at home in L.A.[BPM Sports]

– Will he be able to?

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