The rumors have been lingering around the past few days, and now it’s official. Willie Desjardins has been named the new head coach of the Vancouver Canucks.
Here’s a short clip on President Trevor Linden breaking the news and explaining why Willie Desjardins fits in with the Vancouver Canucks:
The Canucks interviewed a number of candidates looking to fill their coaching vacancy, but they had to play the waiting game with Desjardins because of his run to and eventual Calder Cup win. That doesn’t mean Vancouver wasn’t watching. Both Stan Smyl, senior advisor to the GM, who was also present during meetings Sunday, and Lorne Henning, assistant GM, made separate trips to watch Desjardins’ Stars in action.
Smyl and Henning liked what they saw and Linden and Benning loved what they heard when they finally got the chance to talk with Desjardins.
“He was a really impressive interview, we liked what we saw and things came together very quickly,” said Linden. “Wherever Willie’s coached, he’s had tremendous buy-in from his players, whether it be in junior or at the American League level, guys want to play for him and that’s one of those intangibles that it’s hard to measure on a whiteboard, it’s not about X’s and O’s, it’s about getting players to play hard.”
And with Desjardins’ hiring, 30 days after Benning was brought aboard, 75 days after Linden was handed the keys, the Canucks are managerially prepared for whatever comes next – namely the 2014 NHL Draft, Free Agency and Canucks Prospects Development Summer Camp.
This group is ready.