The Vancouver Canucks have added Doug Jarvis to their coaching staff as an assistant coach, the club announced on Monday morning.
Jarvis, 61, has spent the past six seasons working with the Boston Bruins, but has worked as an assistant coach at the NHL level since the early 90s. In a fun historical footnote, Jarvis’ first year coaching at the NHL level was spent with the Dallas Stars team that the Canucks vanquished on their way to the Stanley Cup Final in 1994.
The veteran coach, who played nearly 1000 regular season games in his NHL career, functioned largely as the Bruins’ eye-in-the-sky during his time with Boston and took over coaching the power play along with fellow assistant Joe Sacco following Geoff Ward’s departure to Germany after the 2013-14 season. Currently the eye-in-the-sky role is occupied in Vancouver by assistant coach Perry Pearn and I’d suspect that Jarvis – as Glen Gulutzan was – will be behind the bench on Willie Desjardins’ staff.
In past stops as an NHL-level assistant coach, Jarvis has worked on a staff with Canucks goaltending consultant Rollie Melanson in Montreal and has been an assistant for a variety of successful NHL coaches, including Claude Julien, Bob Gainey and Ken Hitchcock.
There’s no word yet on what his specific responsibilities in Vancouver will include, but Jarvis’ experience and the portfolio of the man he’s replacing – Calgary Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan – would suggest that the Canucks’ newest assistant will probably be deeply involved in running Vancouver’s special teams units, which struggled last season after a solid performance in 2014-15.
Based on the underlying numbers pertaining to the Bruins power play, we can say that the Jarvis/Sacco partnership was relatively successful in maintaining the Bruins’ 5-on-4 form following Ward’s departure.
Though the Bruins dropped out of the top-10 in power-play conversion rate in Sacco and Jarvis’ first year managing the power play, that would seem to be mostly due to variance as opposed to any systems defects (Boston’s 5-on-4 shooting percentage dropped from 14.5% to 10.9% from 2013-14 to 2014-15, while they retained a healthy shot rate). The luck diagnosis holds additional water when you consider that the Bruins’ power play shooting percentage and conversion rate rebounded in a major way this past season, with Jarvis and Sacco combining to coach a power-play unit that converted on better than 20 percent of its opportunities.
Generally speaking it’s pretty tough to anticipate the impact that an assistant could have on an NHL club. Jarvis has reams of experience and has had success in a variety of stops as an assistant. If he’s tasked with running the power play, then trying to figure out how to help the Canucks’ power play regain its 2014-15 form will be his primary challenge. It’s a tall task, particularly since the club is lacking in right-handed shooters up front to complement the Sedin twins.
“Doug Jarvis is an accomplished coach with multiple Stanley Cup championships and NHL Finals experience,” said Benning in a team release. “He has a teaching mentality and draws from his knowledge as a former player and coach spanning almost 40 years. We are very pleased to have Doug and his family join our team.”
Jarvis has leapt promptly into his new role and is currently on the ice with Canucks prospects at development camp:
— Jon Abbott (@HockeyAbbs) July 4, 2016