Apr 13, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; The Vancouver Canucks raise their sticks to appreciate the fans after the third period against the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks announce head coach

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The Vancouver Canucks have officially announced that Willie Desjardins has been hired to become the head coach of the team.

Desjardins, 57, becomes the 18th head coach in the 44-year history of the Canucks, and the third in the last three seasons.

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 press 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.”

Desjardins joins the Canucks just days after coaching the AHL’s Texas Stars — the farm club of the Dallas Stars — to the 2014 Calder Cup Finals where his team captured its first championship. In his two seasons as head man in Texas, Desjardins also won the AHL Coach of the Year award after leading the Stars to the number one seed in the Western Conference in 2013.

He spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars from 2010-2012. Prior to that, he spent eight years as head coach with Medicine Hat of the WHL. He was the team’s GM from 2005-2010.


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Tags: NHL Vancouver Canucks Willie Desjardins

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