Willie Desjardins will be meeting with the Canucks in Vancouver this weekend and according to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, the team will introduce him as their new head coach next week assuming all goes as expected in the hiring process.
Desjardins, 58, led the AHL's Texas Stars to Calder Cup victory win over the St. John's IceCaps this past season. He has served as the Stars head coach for the past two seasons, following a three-year stint as an assistant coach with Dallas.
The native of Climax, Sask. also won a WHL championship in 2004 as coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Willie Desjardins (born February 11, 1957 in Climax, Saskatchewan) is the head coach of the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League.
Willie began his hockey career playing for the Lethbridge Broncos from 1974 through 1977. He followed his junior hockey career by studying at the University of Saskatchewan and played with the Huskies under then head coach Dave King. Willie began his coaching career at the University of Calgary in 1985 as assistant coach and became head coach in 1989. Willie then coached the Seibu Bears in Japan. He then returned to Canada and became head coach of the Saskatoon Blades midway through the 1997 season. He was then offered a job as an assistant coach for the Canadian National Men's Hockey Team.
Once hired by the Medicine Hat Tigers, Willie was instrumental in the Tigers first playoff appearance in five years in the 2002–2003 season, leading them to a Memorial Cup appearance and their 4th WHL championship in 2003–2004, and a 96 point Eastern Conference regular season champion 2004–2005 season. Desjardins took on the duties of General Manager for the 2005–2006 season.
From 2010 to 2012, Desjardins served as the associate head coach of the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League before being selected as the head coach of their AHL team in Cedar Park, Texas in June 2012. On June 17, 2014, he lead his Texas Stars team to their first Calder Cup Championship.
Desjardins was awarded the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy for the Coach of the Year in the Western Hockey League and the Canadian Hockey league.
Seems like he was highly sought after. I don't know how we can be upset about this signing. He's won in Junior, he's won in the AHL, and he appears ready for the show. Should be a good teacher for the youth movement, apparently he holds players to account, and could shake-up the leadership group here in Vancouver to match his strategy.
Says a lot that he apparently turned down Pittsburgh for Vancouver.