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Canucks name Desjardins head coach

Jun 23, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

Dallas Stars Headshots Getty Images

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.


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  1. lowenni - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    From what I’ve read sounds like he’ll be a good fit for the Nucks during this “retooling process”. Hopefully for them he can help bring about the games of younger guys like Jensen and Kassian and get the Sedins going again. Nucks aren’t too far off if they don’t trade away all their vets, they’ve still got a good roster.

  2. billiam55 - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    solid choice for Vancouver.

  3. hosewater2 - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Edmonton suggests you just can’t go wrong with a successful AHL coach.

    • jovocop2112 - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:30 PM

      Here’s hopping he’s alot more Jon Cooper then Dallas Eakins.

  4. darksidecowboy - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    Good luck Willie, thanks for leading the Texas Stars for the Calder Cup. I have a feeling the next cup you hoist will be Lord Stanley’s!

    • scout202sport - Jun 24, 2014 at 6:26 AM

      He might get a Cup at some point in his career. But it won’t be with the Canucks.

  5. notan9ner - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Ha, gotta wonder why he turned down the pens offer?

    sinking ship?

    • imleftcoast - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      5 x $2m

    • darksidecowboy - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      term i hear

      • bigtganks - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        Wow… Another 5 year deal? Are they still paying AV or was he let go with just a year to go?

    • 6superbowls - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:06 PM

      You wish. Only in your wet dreams.

  6. micasa81 - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    Glad it’s settled. I honestly don’t know enough about him to be able to have an informed opinion. I have cautious optimism due to all the hype about his success with Texas, tempered by the recent struggles of some rookie NHL coaches who had very good track records in the AHL (Arniel and Eakins come to mind). Doesn’t mean Desjardins will do poorly, but neither is he guaranteed to turn the Canucks back around. At any rate, I care much more about his ability to help the young guys become better players than whether he can bring the team back into the playoffs. The two outcomes are not one and the same.

  7. deezenucks - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Kinda funny the nucks stole both the gm and now coach the pens wanted given the talent levels currently. But their both western Canadians and seemed like Van offered more years to Willie.
    I like what they have done so far, get us fixed!

  8. ronniethec - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    The ‘nucks would have a better chance in the east, for the west has so many really good teams as well as some up and coming teams. They should do better with this new coach though, especially if they trade the 2 girls.

  9. scout202sport - Jun 24, 2014 at 6:25 AM

    I feel bad for this guy. Canucks are a train wreck and are getting worse every year. There aren’t any minor adjustments that they can make that will get them past MURDERERS ROW that is the Western Conference. If/when the Canucks do become contenders, it will be so far down the line that I don’t think he will even be the coach at that point. Canucks can’t beat the Kings/Hawks/Ducks/Sharks/Blues/Wild/Av’s in a playoff series. Canucks are a non issue and it’s going to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

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