Report: Canadiens head coach Ducharme out 14 days after positive COVID test

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·Hockey writer
·2 min read
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Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme won't be behind the bench for the foreseeable future. (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire)
Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme won't be behind the bench for the foreseeable future. (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire)

The Montreal Canadiens already had their hands full with the Vegas Golden Knights in their Stanley Cup semifinal matchup, but now they will be without their bench boss for the foreseeable future.

Head coach Dominique Ducharme has tested positive for COVID-19, the Canadiens and NHL confirmed on Friday ahead of Game 3 at the Bell Centre with the best-of-seven series tied 1-1. On Saturday, Sportsnet's Chris Johnston reported that Ducharme will have to isolate away from the team for 14 days.

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Ducharme, according to the team, received his second dose of the vaccine on June 9, meaning he was less than a week away from full effectiveness. The league added that all tests administered to other members of the organization — including players, coaches and staff members — over the past couple days have returned uniformly negative results.

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Addressing the media on Friday afternoon, Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said that assistant coach Luke Richardson would run the bench for Game 3, with assistant coach Alex Burrows and director of goaltending Sean Burke filling out the coaching staff for Friday's contest, which the Canadiens won in overtime after a devastating puck handling blunder by Marc-Andre Fleury.

Promoted from assistant to interim head coach once Montreal fired Claude Julien earlier this season, Ducharme has led the Canadiens through two surprising playoff series wins, with just two victories now between them and a Stanley Cup final appearance.

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