Montreal Canadian | Dominique Ducharme declared positive for COVID-19

Thunderclap at the Canadian: head coach Dominique Ducharme has been tested positive for COVID-19 and will have to isolate himself from the rest of the team for an indefinite period.

Early Thursday morning, in Las Vegas, where the Habs played the first two games of their semi-final series against the Golden Knights, Ducharme took a test before flying to Montreal. The test came back positive 24 hours later, so the Quebecer was placed in administrative segregation on Friday morning, just before the team’s training session, which took place as scheduled. An additional test, administered during the day, confirmed the positive result.

Read Alexandre Pratt’s column “Public health authorizes the Canadiens’ game” Read our live coverage of Marc Bergevin’s press conference

“I cannot say how long he will be away,” said Marc Bergevin, general manager of the CH, a few hours before the third game of the series, scheduled at the Bell Center.

The NHL has also confirmed that the game could take place as planned, since all the tests passed by the other members of the organization during the last two days have been negative.


Luke Richardson and Alexandre Burrows

In the absence of Ducharme, it is Luke Richardson who takes over behind the bench, with the assistance of Alex Burrows and Sean Burke. Of the three, Richardson is indeed the only one with experience as a head coach in the professional ranks, having led the Senators’ school club in Binghamton for four seasons, from 2012 to 2016.

Ducharme, who is doing well, according to Bergevin, however helped prepare the game plan from a distance and will continue to communicate with his home team.


As is the case with all COVID-19 outbreaks in the metropolis, Ducharme’s case is currently under investigation by the Montreal Regional Public Health Directorate to determine how the CH coach contracted the virus.

Marc Bergevin assured that the club had shown “transparency” with the authorities concerned and that the Public Health of Quebec was comfortable with the fact that Friday’s match took place as planned. Information confirmed by Quebec.

“There is a specific protocol with the NHL [et] the CH organization respects it to the letter, ”wrote a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Social Services in an email.

This remark is based on the fact that all members of the Canadiens, including Ducharme, have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The second dose was administered on June 9, nine days earlier.

However, this period leaves room for two different interpretations. In a statement, the NHL wrote that Ducharme was “partially vaccinated”, suggesting that the second dose is still too recent for the coach to be considered fully vaccinated.

However, according to our information, the Montreal Regional Public Health Directorate now considers that a person who has received their second dose for at least seven days is fully vaccinated. As a result, she no longer has to self-isolate if she comes in contact with someone positive for COVID-19 and is not showing symptoms. This would explain the green light the Canadian has obtained to continue his activities, even if his players and assistant coaches have rubbed shoulders with Ducharme in recent days.

Crazy day

While Friday night’s game was exhausting for both players and spectators, the day had been a bit crazy for the coaching staff.

As soon as the assistant coaches arrived at the Bell Complex in Brossard for morning training, the team’s Head Athletic Therapist, Graham Rynbend, informed them that Ducharme had to vacate the premises in accordance with COVID-protocol. 19. “We immediately got down to work,” said Luke Richardson, immediately appointed as a replacement behind the bench.

With Burrows, Burke and Bergevin, they planned the next step. “It went quickly, but it’s also good like that, he said. We didn’t have much time to think about it. We tried to do things the way Dom does. ”

Ducharme spoke to his players before and after the game and communicated with his substitutes between periods. “Like we do in every game,” said Richardson. According to him, “the guys were excited to hear” the voice of their head coach. “And they answered well. ”

“We trust them,” said captain Shea Weber.

At the end of the day, “I think we handled things well, in a very organized way,” added Richardson, usually in charge of the club’s defenders.

And to conclude with a laugh: “I always believed that I would have my first chance [comme entraîneur-chef dans la LNH] in a standout game… It happened to me more in a third round game that ended with an overtime victory. “

With the collaboration of Alexandre Pratt, Guillaume Lefrançois and Richard Labbé, Press

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