MONTREAL - Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced on Wednesday that head coach Claude Julien and associate coach Kirk Muller were relieved of their coaching duties with the Canadiens earlier today.
The organization also announced having promoted Dominique Ducharme as interim head coach in addition to the appointment of Alex Burrows to the Canadiens' coaching staff. Luke Richardson and Stéphane Waite retain their respective duties within the coaching group.
"I would like to sincerely thank Claude and Kirk for their contributions to our team over the past five years during which we worked together. I have great respect for these two men whom I hold in high regard," said Bergevin. "In Dominique Ducharme, we see a very promising coach who will bring new life and new energy to our group. We feel that our team can achieve high standards and the time had come for a change. "
Ducharme, 47, is being promoted to the interim head coaching position after two seasons as an assistant coach with the Club. A native of Joliette, Ducharme joined the Canadiens coaching staff in April 2018 after 10 seasons in the QMJHL. He hoisted the Memorial Cup with the Halifax Mooseheads in 2012-13. That same year, Ducharme earned the CHL's Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award, while also being recognized in the QMJHL with the Ron Lapointe Trophy as the top coach in the league. Ducharme served as head coach for Canada during the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2017 (silver medal) and 2018 (gold medal).
Marc Bergevin and Dominique Ducharme will address the media this afternoon when the team arrives in Winnipeg. Information regarding the press conference will follow shortly.