Habs fire Cunneyworth

Randy Cunneyworth (left) and Randy Ladouceur were fired by the Canadiens on Wednesday. (CHRISTINNE...

Randy Cunneyworth (left) and Randy Ladouceur were fired by the Canadiens on Wednesday. (CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/Reuters file photo)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:00 AM ET

MONTREAL - It's one coach in, two assistants out for the Montreal Canadiens, who fired Randy Cunneyworth and Ray Ladouceur on Wednesday.

The team made the announcement a day after hiring Michel Therrien as coach.

Cunneyworth had served as interim coach after taking over Dec. 17 from Jacques Martin.

Cunneyworth's inability to speak French made him the target of ridicule and protests in Quebec. Former general manager Pierre Gauthier defended his appointment, but he was contradicted by owner Geoff Molson a few days later when the beer baron made it clear that the coach of the Canadiens must speak French.

Gauthier was fired in March, days before the team finished in last place in the Eastern Conference.

Ladouceur was also shown the door Wednesday.

Therrien is trying to resuscitate a club that has missed the playoffs in six of the past 13 seasons.

"I made the decision (to bring) together a new coaching staff," Therrien said in a statement. "Out of respect for Randy Cunneyworth and Randy Ladouceur, I felt it was important that I notify them immediately in order for them to start looking for other opportunities."

Cunneyworth took over with the Canadians sporting a 13-12-7 record that put them within two points of eighth place in the conference.

He failed to turn the team around. The Canadiens the lost their first four games under his watch, including a bitter 5-1 setback against Chicago and a 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets the following day.

The team sank further down the standings as winter wore on.


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