Dominique Ducharme had offered a job to Martin St-Louis

The dust has visibly settled very slowly for Dominique Ducharme.

Dominique Ducharme had offered a job to Martin St-Louis

The dust has visibly settled very slowly for Dominique Ducharme. Smiling and relaxed, the former head coach of the Montreal Canadiens commented for the first time on his dismissal on Wednesday during his golf classic in Joliette.

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"I've come a long way. It's just a test, he told reporters who came to meet him. I've met plenty of them in my career. I will continue to grow.”

“There were a lot of ups. A year ago, we were preparing to play match number 5 of the final. It was an extraordinary experience. Then, at the start of the season, the first half of the season was more difficult with the changes. Management too.

Speaking from experience, Ducharme imagined that it is not acquired like one buys a pint of milk at the store.

“There were several pitfalls during 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.”

Could Ducharme have done things differently or reviewed certain criticized strategies? The Joliette pilot suggests that he sometimes questions himself.

“We always do it. 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 that as a coach. Otherwise, you're not moving forward."

He offered a position in St-Louis

Ducharme did not reveal if he had a discussion with Martin St-Louis, his successor who is a longtime friend dating back to their years at the University of Vermont. We learned, however, that he offered her a job before the last season.

"We've been in touch a bit," he said vaguely. I had contacted Martin last summer to join the coaching staff. He's a good hockey guy and I wish him the best of luck.

“He had things to do and he decided not to join our group. I understand too."

To know what the future holds for Ducharme, he says he has had “discussions” with teams, but he will wait to find the job that best suits his objectives.

“It is certain that the sting is still there, to inform Ducharme. I've done this all my life. I want to return as head coach in the National League. Last year, when we came to the tournament here, we were only three wins away from the Stanley Cup. My goal is to have those three victories that were missing.

"I've come a long way. It's just a test. I've met plenty of them in my career. I will continue to grow.

Little communication with Gorton and Hughes

Defender Jeff Petry is among the veterans who have criticized "the structure" under Ducharme's orders, but the latter assures that he has never been cold with him.

“I had a good relationship with the players. With Jeff, it was a difficult situation with the start of the season and his family situation. It was not easy for him, he argued while defending his former player.

“I have always tried to communicate as well as possible with everyone. There was nothing personal between me and him. It was maybe one in 100 situations for a season.

No return to junior in sight

Ducharme admits that he would have liked better communication with the new regime, namely vice-president Jeff Gorton and general manager Kent Hughes.

"There really wasn't. I would have liked to have that meeting with Kent. At least to tell him how I saw things and how I perceived the future.

“We see it elsewhere too. When new people come in, they want to turn the page on the old direction.”

While he waits for the right job offer, don't expect to see Ducharme return to the junior ranks anytime soon.

“I am in a situation where I still have two years of contract, he clarifies.

"I'm open to anything, but I feel that on the junior side, I did everything I had to do."

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