The league has made the official announcement concerning Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme, who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in isolation. The press release indicates that all tests done on players have returned negative, meaning there will not be any other unforeseen absences in tonight’s game.
The full statement:
This morning, we became aware that a test administered yesterday in Las Vegas on Montreal Canadiens Head Coach Dominique Ducharme indicated a presumptive positive result for the COVID-19 virus that was confirmed on further testing today. Coach Ducharme has been partially vaccinated with his second shot administered less than two weeks ago, on June 9. Per NHL COVID Protocols, Coach Ducharme was immediately isolated from the team. All tests administered to the Players, other coaches and hockey staff from both yesterday and today have returned uniformly negative results. The Canadiens organization has, and will continue to follow, all guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of its Players, staff and community at large as set by the NHL, the Canadian Federal Government, the Quebec Provincial Government, and national and provincial health agencies.
While it is obviously a good thing that the Canadiens will have their full complement of players, losing their coach at this important juncture is not ideal. Ducharme will now miss the rest of the series, which is scheduled to go through June 26 if taken to seven games.
This is Ducharme’s first time as an NHL head coach in the playoffs, after taking over from Claude Julien earlier in the year. The team will turn to Luke Richardson to run the bench tonight, assisted by Alexandre Burrows and Sean Burke, according to GM Marc Bergevin. He also indicated that Ducharme is feeling well and will still be involved in preparing the game plan.