Jun 23, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT
The Vancouver Canucks have hired Willie Desjardins as their 18th head coach in franchise history.
“Willie Desjardins has won at every level and we believe he’ll be an excellent fit as we strive to return to the playoffs and build with youth for long-term success,” said general manager Jim Benning in a release. “Willie is a great teacher, motivator and communicator; his teams have competed with a style of play we believe will help us compete in our division and in the playoffs. With Willie’s leadership behind the bench we look forward to bringing back this team’s winning qualities and our fans’ passion and excitement for the Canucks.”
The news comes as no surprise after it was reported last week that Desjardins, 57, had spurned the Pittsburgh Penguins’ advances.
Desjardins has never been a head coach in the NHL, but Benning made clear in May that that wasn’t a prerequisite for the job. The candidate, however, needed to have won at other levels, and Desjardins has certainly done that, most recently leading the AHL’s Texas Stars to a Calder Cup championship. He was also a very successful junior coach with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers.
- Zuccarello takes Rangers’ one year, $3.5M deal 21
- Advancement? Leafs sign Booth for one year, $1.1M 16
- Leafs hire 28-year-old stats advocate as assistant GM 27
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 61
- Stars, Roussel agree on four-year, $8 million deal 3
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation 61
- Return that toaster: Ovechkin-Kirilenko engagement broken off 52
- Report: Leafs sign Franson to one year, $3.3 million deal 8
- Report: O’Reilly wants $6.7M deal, Avs counter at $5.5M 58
- Report: Blue Jackets, Johansen make ‘significant progress’ toward deal 5
- Kane, Toews could’ve commanded $13.8M cap hits, says agent (83)
- Babcock fires back over allegations that free agents avoid him (77)
- Babcock: Cleary a ‘calculated risk’ after playing last year ‘on one leg’ (70)
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (65)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)