Former Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme played a prominent role in the Canadian men’s junior hockey team in 2018, when eight players from the team allegedly raped a young woman at a Hockey Canada Foundation gala in June that year, he who was the head coach. .
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The 49-year-old man, who was also present at the gala, swears not to have any information that could have advanced the investigation, who also met with the investigators after the fact.
“In the weeks that followed, the investigators that Hockey Canada had hired called me and asked me if I knew anything, had seen anything or heard anything, but there was nothing on my part that could tell me that something had happened. mentioned Ducharme, known to the media on Wednesday, on the occasion of his golf classic at Joliette. I had no information I was there at the gala, but no other information beyond that.
“It’s rare that we go out with the players.”
The scandal, which came to light in May, splashes the organization of Hockey Canada, whose leaders even had to give explanations before the Permanent Committee of Canadian Heritage, to reveal that their investigation had not allowed to determine the identity of the eight men. involved and called “John Doe 1 to 8”.
“I’m just a hockey coach, I’m not smart enough to be a top executive like that. I’ll let them choose how they react,” he added, when asked how he found Hockey Canada’s management of the file.
Ducharme does not believe that there is a culture of silence in hockey, or at least that hockey is not alone in its boat. However, he does not excuse the gesture.
“Hockey is just a reflection of society. If we’re going to go around college campuses or in other sports, other areas, I think it’s just a reflection like in other places.
A position offered to Martin St-Louis
The dust settled slowly for Dominique Ducharme. Smiling and relaxed, the former Habs coach commented on his dismissal for the first time.
Therefore, he did not reveal whether he had an argument with Martin St-Louis, an old friend dating back to his years at the University of Vermont. However, we learned that he offered her a job before the last season.
“We were in contact a bit, he vaguely informed the journalists who came to receive him. I contacted Martin last summer to join the coaching staff. He is a good hockey player and I wish him the best of luck.”
“He had things to do and decided not to join our group. I understand too.”
On his own subject, Ducharme is far from disturbing and philosophical.
“I have come a long way. It is just a test, he said. I have met many of them during my career. I will continue to grow.”
“There were a lot of climbs. A year ago we were preparing to play match number 5 of the final. It was an extraordinary experience. Then, at the beginning of the season, the first part was more complicated with the changes. The management too.”
Speaking from experience, Ducharme figured that you don’t buy it the way you buy half a liter of milk at the store.
“There were several bumps in the first half of the season. To gain experience, you cannot go to Walmart to buy it. You have to go through things like that.”
Was Ducharme able to do things differently or review certain criticized strategies? Joliette’s driver lets it be known that he sometimes questions himself.
“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, you don’t advance.”
To find out what the future holds for Ducharme, he says he has had “discussions” with teams, but he will wait to find the position that best suits his goals.
“It is true that the sting is still there, he said. I’ve done this all my life. I want to come back as a head coach in the National League. Last year when we came to the tournament here, we were just three wins away from the Stanley Cup. My goal is to have those three wins that were missing.
While you wait for the right job offer, don’t expect to see Ducharme return to the ranks anytime soon.
“I’m in a situation where I still have two years left on my contract,” he said. I am open to everything, but I feel that on the youth side I did everything I had to do.
Little communication with Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes
Dominique Ducharme admits that she would have liked better communication with the Montreal Canadiens’ new regime, namely vice president Jeff Gorton and general manager Kent Hughes.
“There really wasn’t one. I would have liked to have had that meeting with Kent. At least to tell him how I saw things and how he perceived the future, he admitted on Wednesday. We see it in other places too. When new people come in, they want to turn the page at the above address.
About defender Jeff Petry, among the veterans who criticized “the structure” under his command, Ducharme says he has never been cold with him.
“I had a good relationship with the players. With Jeff, it was a difficult situation with the beginning of the season and his family situation. It was not easy for him, he argued while defending the former player from him. I have always tried to communicate as best as possible with everyone. There was nothing personal between him and me. It was maybe one in 100 situations during a season.
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