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Mooseheads hire former Habs defenceman J.J. Daigneault as new head coach

Halifax fans celebrate their Mooseheads after a crushing 4-2 defeat against the Rouyn-Norand Huskies in the Memorial Cup final Sunday at the Scotiabank Centre.
Halifax fans celebrate their Mooseheads after a crushing 4-2 defeat against the Rouyn-Norand Huskies in the Memorial Cup final Sunday at the Scotiabank Centre. - Eric Wynne

Former NHL defenceman J.J. Daigneault will be the Halifax Mooseheads new head coach.
The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon.
Daigneault replaces Eric Veilleux, who left the team in June to join the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch after one season in Halifax. Daigneault will become the 12th head coach in franchise history and fifth in as many seasons.
Daigneault, 53, played for Laval and Longueuil in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and was inducted into the league’s Hall of Fame in April.
“It hit me on induction night and brought me back about 25 years and made me think that it would be something neat to come back to where it all started and work and maybe give something back to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League,” Daigneault said.
The Montreal native enjoyed a 17-year NHL career with 10 different teams. He scored 250 points in 899 career games while also being a member of the 1993 Stanley Cup champion Habs.
He spent six seasons as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens from 2012 to 2018 and was an assistant in the St. Louis Blues system with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage last season.
“I’m very excited about this hire,” said Mooseheads owner Bobby Smith. “J.J. was a high-end defenceman in our league and in the NHL, which will be of tremendous value to the development of our players. He brings a wealth of coaching experience from the AHL and NHL level and he is a quality individual.”
Dominique Ducharme is the last head coach to spend more than one season with the Herd. He was the bench boss from 2011-12 to 2015-16. Andre Tourigny, Jim Midgley and Veilleux coached the squad the past three seasons.

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