Earlier today, it was announced that the interim head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, Dominique Ducharme, tested positive for COVID-19. He is currently isolating and will be out for at least 10 days, but the exact timeframe is still unknown. Ducharme was not yet fully vaccinated, as he just had his second dose on June 9th. Canadiens’ assistant coach Luke Richardson will be running the bench in his absence. Assistant coaches Alex Burrows and Sean Burke will be on the bench as well.
Obviously, the health of Dominique Ducharme is the number one priority right now. Luckily, Canadiens’ GM Marc Bergevin said he spoke to him earlier today and he said that he was feeling good. Hopefully, it stays that way. As for what this means for the Canadiens, who are currently in a 1-1 Stanley Cup Semifinals series against the Golden Knights, it could have a major impact.
Aside from the fact that the Canadiens have lost their head coach, likely for the rest of the third round, which on its own could have a huge impact since he’s a big part of their success, this could affect their lineup too. As of right now, no Canadiens players have tested positive, and they were confident the game could go on tonight. But, as we well know after seeing it all season, that could change. It is probably safe to assume none of the Canadiens’ players are fully vaccinated if Ducharme wasn’t. So, there could easily be positive tests over the next few days. I really hope that isn’t the case, but it is possible.
Luckily for the Golden Knights, more than 85% of their team and staff are fully vaccinated. So, the risk of team-to-team transmission is low, and therefore we only really need to worry about the Canadiens. Health is much more important than hockey, so I hope everyone’s sake that Ducharme is the only positive case, and that he doesn’t have many, if any, issues with it. Thankfully, since he was just five days shy of being considered fully vaccinated, that is likely to be the case.
I had hoped that at this point in the season, with most teams fully vaccinated or at least on their way to being, that there would be no issues with COVID-19. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I hope this serves as a reminder not only to the teams still in the playoffs but to everyone that the pandemic is not over. We still need to be careful, especially if you are not fully vaccinated. I’m not saying Ducharme did anything wrong, as I’m sure he didn’t, but that should further prove that this isn’t over. Even with all the health and safety protocols in place, he still got COVID. It’s not hard to get if you aren’t vaccinated, so please, if you haven’t done so already, go get the vaccine. It’s the only way to end this pandemic.
In the meantime, I want to send my thoughts and best wishes to Dominique Ducharme for a full, speedy recovery! Your health is more important than hockey.
-Lydia Murray (@lydia_murray12)
Featured image courtesy of David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images.
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