The Vegas Golden Knights have hired Dominique Ducharme and Joel Ward as assistant coaches for the 2023-24 season. The Golden Knights are the defending Stanley Cup champions and these two rookies could help them in their quest for a second consecutive championship.
Ducharme most recently served as the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens during the 2021-22 season. He was sacked 45 games as the team held an 8-30-7 record. They rebounded immediately when the team hired Martin St. Louis to replace Ducharme. He has not held an NHL position since.
Ward was an assistant coach for the Henderson Silver Knights in the AHL, the Golden Knights’ affiliate team. He spent three seasons there and will be behind an NHL bench for the first time in his career this season. Ward was notably a longtime Season 11 NHL veteran known for being a strong middle-six winger who rose through the ranks at the University of Prince Edward Island to a long NHL career.
« We are extremely pleased with the additions of Dominique and Joel to our coaching staff here in Vegas, » Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon said. “Dominique brings extensive coaching experience to our organization and has proven to be an effective leader on many levels. Joel has excelled at Henderson in the first three years of his promising coaching career and we are delighted that he is taking his next step with us.
Ducharme has had success in the past as a head coach. He won the QMJHL championship while coaching the Halifax Mooseheads with a 58-6-4 record in the 2012-13 season. Ward appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals while a member of the San Jose Sharks for their 2015-16 run. The Golden Knights will look to replicate this season’s success with these two men behind the bench and become the first team since the Tampa Bay Lightning to win back-to-back Stanley Cups.