Taking into account the disclaimer of all of the waffling that has preceded this news, it appears that a crisis – which looked like it was rapidly becoming a reality as recently as this time yesterday – has been averted. If the reports by Kevin Weekes (initially, then reinforced by The Hockey Godfather himself) turn out to be true, the Canucks will have their head coach in place prior to next week’s entry draft set to take place in Philadelphia.
We’ll learn more about the details of the agreement in the coming days, but I’d imagine we won’t have any sort of definitive word until early next week. While the Vancouverite in me would caution against getting overly excited or ahead of ourselves at this time, it’s understandable if you’d like to finally exhale a little bit on this Friday afternoon.
More on this just past the jump. There’s a joke about “Willies” and “Bridesmaids” to be had here, I suspect.
Without the luxury of having a concrete outline of how the events transpired at our disposal, all we can do is piece the tidbits of information that has leaked out to the public so far. From what we can gather – using stuff from Dreger, Weekes, and Rob Rossi’s blog post – it appears that Desjardins met with the Penguins, heard their presentation, and thought better of it.
Whether it was a disagreement on the term (as has been speculated about at length, with the Penguins wanting to stay flexible in the hopes of luring Mike Babcock over one day), money, or control (assistant coaches, etc), we don’t really know. It could be a combination of those, or it could be something totally else.
What I do object to, though, is the notion that Desjardins is settling for a “Plan B” by choosing the Canucks or a Sidney Crosby-led Penguins squad that has a more feasible shot at success in the near future. If anything, Jim Rutherford’s quote in the Rossi piece sure made it seem like Desjardins explored his options, and made the decision himself to come back into Vancouver’s open arms.
I’d imagine that the aforementioned point about length of term ultimately carries with it some gravitas here. The security of a deal ranging anywhere between 3-5 years (which strikes me as a safe bet) must’ve been alluring to him, no doubt. For whatever it’s worth I’d generally caution against investing so many years in any coach, really, considering that at this very moment a grand total of 4 bench bosses have been with their current teams since 2010. The shelf life of the gig is a short one, and there’s a lot of turnover these days for whatever reason. But that’s just the price of doing business.
All jokes and speculation aside, I personally like the potential hiring of Willie Desjardins as the bench boss for this club. For all of the reasons I went into on the post pivoting off of Trevor Linden’s comments regarding the hunt for a coach earlier today (whose comments we should never take at face value moving forward). While it’s not ideal that he only has 2 years of NHL experience as an assistant, and somewhat eyebrow-raising that he hasn’t gotten a chance at a gig like this until now, there’s a lot to like about his profile coming in.
His teams have been largely successful in the WHL and AHL, and I’m always all for trying out newer options rather than going back to the well for retreads that we already know won’t wind up working out.