Willie Desjardins named new head coach of Canucks

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Willie Desjardins (©GettyImages)
Willie Desjardins (©GettyImages).

The Vancouver Canucks have finally filled the team’s coaching vacancy. The organisation officially announced Willie Desjardins as the new head coach of the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.

Desjardins has very little experience in the NHL, having spent just two years with the Dallas Stars as an associate coach. However, he has made quite a name for himself in the AHL. This past season Desjardins coached the Texas Stars to a Calder Cup Championship.

As a result of that victory, he received coach of the year honors as well. Prior to this success, Desjardins led the Tigers to two Memorial Cup tournament appearances, one of which was a Memorial Cup Finals.

Now the 57-year-old finally gets his chance to coach in the big league. I’m thankful that the Vancouver Canucks have selected a coach before the NHL draft. Now the question becomes how quickly will it take for him to become accustomed to his new surroundings.

What he can expect

The NHL is quite different from the WHL. There is a lot more pressure, higher expectations and a lot more skill required. However, I’m sure Desjardins is ready to tackle the challenge. It certainly won’t be easy.

The Vancouver Canucks were left in shambles after the departure of Mike Gillis and John Tortorella. They ended a very disappointing season, seeing the departure of long time goalie Roberto Luongo and failing to make the playoffs. Therefore, the morale within the locker room and team’s fan base will be low. I’m sure Desjardins will look to provide a much needed confidence boost through the entire roster.

It will take Desjardins quite a lot of time to gain the confidence and trust of Canucks fans after the train wreck they had to endure last season. I have to admit I’m quite nervous about how this move will play out for the Canucks. And Desjardins hasn’t been left with much to work with in my opinion.

Eddie Lack struggled to find a way to win games consistently down the home stretch of last season. Henrik and Daniel Sedin aren’t getting any younger and have both struggled with injuries this past year.

Plus Ryan Kesler may be on his way out. I know this announcement was supposed to spark some excitement, but I’m still worried about what may come next. I believe Desjardins has potential and will provide his players with a whole new perspective.

I just hope he doesn’t get treated unfairly like John Tortorella did. I can’t wait to see what kind of tactical changes he has planned for his players next season.

Situation of Ryan Kesler

With a new coach in place, all attention now turns to the future of Ryan Kesler. I have a feeling he will get dealt to another team on draft day. But I certainly hope he decides to stay with the Canucks.

And if he does, I hope Desjardins puts him on the number one line next season as well. I believe this year’s draft will be one of the most exciting draft days ever.

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