Skip to content

Fiddler endorses ‘great motivator’ Desjardins for NHL coaching job

May 26, 2014, 11:36 AM EST

Dallas Stars Headshots Getty Images

If Barry Trotz does indeed become the new head coach of the Washington Capitals, there will still be three NHL coaching vacancies left — in Florida, Carolina and Vancouver — with another possibly opening in Pittsburgh, depending what the new, still-to-be-named Penguins general manager decides to do with Dan Bylsma.

And that brings us to Willie Desjardins, considered a strong candidate to make the jump from the AHL, where he’s been behind the bench of the Texas Stars, to the big leagues, where he was an associate coach with Dallas from 2010-12.

One of his former players, Vern Fiddler, is a fan.

“He’s a great motivator and he knows how to find the best in every player — that’s why he’s been so successful,” Fiddler told The Province. “One of the biggest things I noticed is that he really cares about everybody and he knows that everybody is different. I was in the league for six or seven years and he still found a way to get more out of you. Even as an assistant coach, he was a guy who would push you to different levels and I definitely found that guys respected him for that.”

New Canucks GM Jim Benning said Friday that previous head-coaching experience in the NHL was not a necessity for the job in Vancouver, but the coach needs to have won at different levels.

Desjardins can check that requirement off, having won two WHL titles as coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers, in 2004 and 2007.

  1. gbatap - May 26, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Perfect coach for that young oilers team. They should do themselves a favor and fire that weasel they have and give Willie a call.

Featured video

Eakins on his way out of Edmonton?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (2606)
  2. V. Hedman (2510)
  3. P. Datsyuk (2414)
  4. D. Krejci (2052)
  5. P. Sharp (2030)
  1. B. Elliott (1827)
  2. Z. Chara (1719)
  3. S. Varlamov (1674)
  4. B. Marchand (1651)
  5. B. Dubinsky (1586)