Rinne on Weber, Habs Coaching Moves | HEADLINES

Shea Weber (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

ROCKET SPORTS MEDIA | MONTREAL, QC. — The off-season has begun for the Montreal Canadiens but there is no shortage of news as teams prepare for the Seattle Expansion Draft and the NHL Entry Draft followed by free agency.

Rinne applauds Weber

After a 13-year playing career all with one team, Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne announced his retirement from the NHL. Rinne holds many of the Preds franchise goaltending records.

On the morning of his retirement, Rinne authored a piece chronically his illustrious career that was published in The Players’ Tribune. In the article, Rinne praised his captains including former teammate Shea Weber.

“Shea, man, what can I say. He’s as good as they come. We started our pro careers together in Milwaukee. And let me just say this about everyone in the Admirals organization: You guys are the best. I’m so thankful to all of you and the city of Milwaukee for the role you played in my life. And I know Shea feels the same way.

When he got to Nashville, he just elevated this club to a whole other level. When he had that success in the Olympics, he just brought that pedigree here. He was always in the All-Star game and he just gave us all a lot of confidence in the room. When things weren’t going well it was always like, ‘Yeah, well tomorrow night we’ll have Shea Weber and they won’t, so let’s see how it goes.’ He was there when we started playing our best hockey, and he was a huge reason why.

Shea’s impact in the community will live on forever, as well. We partnered together in 2014 to help create the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund to raise money for the Preds’ annual donation to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

The impact the Predators organization helped us make in the community…. It means as much to me as any banner hanging in the rafters at Bridgestone.”

Ducharme an ‘interim’ no longer

The Canadiens announced that Dominique Ducharme has been named head coach and that they have signed him to a three-year contract extension, reportedly at $1.7 million per year.

After taking over as interim head coach on February 24, 2021, Ducharme now officially becomes the 31st head coach in Canadiens history. Under Ducharme, the Canadiens earned a 15-16-7 record in the regular season.

“Dominique has managed to set his system in place and establish himself as a head coach in a very unusual season with challenging circumstances. While our team has gone through its fair share of adversity, he has shown a lot of control over the situation as well as showing calm and great leadership. These are important qualities that we look for in a head coach and he fully deserves the chance to lead our team and take it to the next level”, said Marc Bergevin.

Canadiens coaching additions

In his media availability, Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme indicated his desire to have assistants Luke Richardson and Alex Burrows return. Ducharme would like to add one more assistant coach.

In addition, Ducharme said that Sean Burke‘s situation still needs to be resolved. On March 2nd, Burke was promoted to the newly-created position of Director of Goaltending. Ducharme said it has yet to be determined if the Canadiens will hire a goaltending coach.

Weal to KHL

Former Canadiens forward Jordan Weal has signed a two-year contract to play for Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL.

The 29-year-old Weal spent the 2020-21 season with the Laval Rocket. In 34 games, Weal tallied seven goals, 17 assists for 24 points.

Allen on the block?

Canadiens backup goaltender Jake Allen is likely on the target list for the Seattle Kraken for the upcoming expansion draft on July 21st. Rather than lose him for nothing, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Marc Bergevin could be looking to trade Allen.

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