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Montreal Canadiens fire head coach Dominique Ducharme

Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The Montreal Canadiens, who have the worst record in the NHL this season, fired head coach Dominique Ducharme on Wednesday, the team announced.

The Canadiens promoted Hockey Hall of Fame forward Martin St. Louis to interim coach after parting ways with Ducharme.

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"We would like to sincerely thank Dominique for his work and contributions to the Montreal Canadiens organization," general manager Kent Hughes said in a statement. "At this point in the season, we felt it was in the best interest of the club to make a change."

After joining Montreal in 2018 as an assistant, Ducharme was promoted to interim head coach after the Canadiens fired Claude Julien in February 2021. Ducharme had the interim tag removed in July 2021 upon signing a three-year deal with the franchise.

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While he was interim coach, Ducharme guided the Canadiens to an improbable Stanley Cup Final appearance last season during the NHL's pandemic-shortened campaign. Montreal lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in that series.

Since then, however, the Canadiens have dropped to the bottom of the standings with an 8-30-7 record in the 2021-22 campaign.

The 48-year-old Ducharme leaves the Canadiens with a 23-46-12 overall record.

St. Louis, who ended his playing career with 391 goals and 1,033 points, led the Lightning to the 2004 Stanley Cup. He also played for the Calgary Flames and New York Rangers in his 16-year career.

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