Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Vancouver Canucks have named Willie Desjardins their new head coach.
Desjardins spent the past two seasons as the head coach for the Dallas Stars' American Hockey League affiliate in Texas. He led the Texas Stars to the 2014 Calder Cup championship.
"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 Canucks general manager Jim Benning in a statement Monday. "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."
Before taking over the Stars' minor league affiliate, Desjardins was an associate coach with Dallas from 2010-12. He was also head coach of the Western Hockey League's Medicine Hat Tigers from 2002-10, also serving as the GM from 2005-10.
The Canucks needed a replacement for John Tortorella, who was fired after just one season. Vancouver finished 36-35-11 in Tortorella's lone season behind the bench and finished eight points behind Dallas for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Tortorella had replaced Alain Vigneault, who guided Vancouver to five straight playoff appearances, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in the spring of 2011.