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Michel Therrien: “What has Sheldon Keefe done that Dominique Ducharme hasn’t?”
Credit: Photo by Rich Graessle/NHLI via Getty Images
Last Wednesday, the New Jersey Devils announced the hiring of their new head coach: Sheldon Keefe.

Lindy Ruff failed to convince New Jersey management to keep him on as head coach, after disappointing results.

Keefe, on the other hand, was fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 9, but didn’t have to wait long for a new job.

The change of coach in New Jersey can only be good for this talented young team, which has not been performing up to expectations.

It really wasn’t long before Keefe got the call from the Devils, and Michel Therrien wonders why other coaches have to wait so long to get back behind the bench.

In fact, he feels that Dominique Ducharme has done a much better job of proving what he can do with a team, and claims that Ducharme has been successful in the playoffs, unlike Keefe.

This is what he said on TVA Sports’ JiC program:

“What we criticize Keefe for is not having success during the playoffs. A guy like Dominique Ducharme, he had success in the playoffs.” – Michel Therrien

Indeed, in his first year on the Montreal Canadiens’ bench, Ducharme led the club to the Stanley Cup Grand Finals.

He did far more with a club far less wealthy than the Maple Leafs, and in far less time.

Ducharme had to wait over a year for an assistant coaching position with the Golden Knights…

On JiC’sshow, Michel Therrien wanted to talk about the history of the Tricolore’s head coaches, and that’s when you realize that former CH coaches have a hard time finding new jobs.

At least, not as quickly as Keefe.

“He’s a good coach (Ducharme), he’s been through the Hockey Canada program and it’s like he’s forgotten. And that’s what gets me. As prestigious as it can be to manage the Montreal Canadiens, it can also be the graveyard of your career.” – Michel Therrien

If you look at the table below, presented on the show, you can see that it’s pretty sad.

(Credit: Émission JiC)
(Credit: Émission JiC)

Only two Habs head coaches since 1995 have been rehired immediately after their dismissal: Claude Julien in 2006 and Jacques Demers in 1995…

Incredible, though.

Therrien went on to mention that it’s the same thing for former Habs GMs.

Just think of Marc Bergevin, who served for 10 years and reached the Stanley Cup final in 2021 (and almost a second time in 2014, had Carey Price not been injured).

It’s the same with Serge Savard and Bob Gainey.

The former Habs coach was keen to point out that coaching the Tricolore is an extraordinary experience.

“I was lucky to coach the club twice. You learn how to manage what happens on and off the ice, how to work with the media, how to behave. It’s an extraordinary school, and it seems that on the contrary, it does more harm than good.” – Michel Therrien

On this point, we have no choice but to agree with Therrien.

Montreal really is a great hockey town, and working for the club shouldn’t get in the way when you need to find another job.

In brief

The Quebecer tries to pick up where he left off in the last game.

– Read more.

– Alphonso Davies with Kylian Mbappé?

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