NHL

Habs fire Cunneyworth and Ladouceur; Lapointe to be hired

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The Canadian Press
6/6/2012 5:10:52 PM
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MONTREAL -- The changes continue for the Montreal Canadiens.

The club fired assistant coaches Randy Cunneyworth and Randy Ladouceur on Wednesday.

The move comes one day after Michel Therrien was named the team's new head coach.

Cunneyworth took over as Montreal's interim head coach mid-season when the team axed Jacques Martin.

The injury-plagued Habs went on to finish last in the Eastern Conference, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Cunneyworth was moved back to assistant coach after new general manager Marc Bergevin was hired in May.

Bergevin said at the time that it would be up to the new head coach to decide if the assistants stayed on next season.

Therrien said he has decided to bring in a new staff and he felt it was only fair to let Cunneyworth and Ladouceur know right away so they would have time to look for new jobs.

"On behalf of the organization, I would like to thank both of them for their valuable contribution to the team and wish them the very best for the future," Therrien said in a release.

Cunneyworth was named interim coach after Martin was fired in December. The move provoked howls of protest among many fans in Quebec because he was the first coach in four decades unable to speak French.

Team president Geoff Molson apologized to fans and promised the next head coach would be bilingual. Therrien fit that bill.

Cunneyworth and Ladouceur were promoted to the NHL club last summer after coaching Montreal's AHL farm team in Hamilton in 2010-11.

The club is also expected to name Martin Lapointe as their new director of player development. Lapointe was also considering the position of assistant coach in Montreal, but opted for a role in management.

Lapointe, who played junior hockey for Michel Therrien with the Laval Titan, played almost 1,000 games in the NHL with Detroit, Boston, Chicago and Ottawa.



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