The last 12 months have been nothing short of a whirlwind for Dominique Ducharme. After taking over as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens in February of 2021, Ducharme saw his team make the Stanley Cup final, only to be among the absolute worst teams in the NHL this season. On Tuesday, The Canadiens fired Ducharme, naming former player Martin St. Louis interim coach until at least the end of this season.
For whatever Ducharme's issues were this season, he wasn't someone who was just pulled off the street for the position. He had real and impressive coaching credentials, something Insider Frank Seravalli and hockey agent Allen Walsh feel shouldn't be ignored.
E.J. Hradek, senior reporter with the NHL Network, called Ducharme on Twitter "among the worst coaches I've seen at the NHL level". Asked to clarify by a Twitter user, Hradek said "For me, you have to gain credibility with the players. You do that by having a plan that you can clearly communicate to them. You create a culture of accountability. You have a presence with the group. Ducharme had none of that. Players smell out the phonies pretty quick."
That statement didn't sit well with Seravalli, who replied to Hradek's tweet.
"With all due respect, what do you know about Ducharme's presence, communication or accountability? How much time have you spent around him?" asked Seravalli. "QMJHL champ, Mem Cup champ, WJC gold, Stanley Cup finalist. He has room to grow. But I can say with 100% confidence that he is 0% phony."
This brought the following response from Hradek:
"And one more thing. With due respect, don't confuse being an excellent reporter with knowing anything significant about the game on the ice."
Seravalli wasn't about to let that one go.
"I guess when you get embarrassed for assassinating the character of a guy you don't know, your only resort is to attempt to question my knowledge of the game. Have some class. Don't shit on people on their way out," Seravalli replied.
Hradek's comments on Ducharme also got a response from Walsh, who also seemed to think they were unfair.
"Not a fan of knocking someone when down," said Walsh. "Dom Ducharme won at EVERY level he's ever coached. Took an average team to Stanley Cup Finals and I recall you singing his praises last year. Now, he's a phony? QMJHL champ, Mem Cup Champ, WJC Gold? What have you ever won tough guy?"