Canucks name Doug Jarvis assistant coach

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.”

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Jarvis has leapt promptly into his new role and is currently on the ice with Canucks prospects at development camp:

  • Hockey Warrior

    A typically ‘safe’ move from an inept management team to bring in another familiar ‘YES’ man that will tow the party line in order to keep Benning and Linden in jobs.

    However, with this hiring the Ca-sucks might as well FIRE Real Sh*t Willy NOW, because Dougie is far more qualified to take the head coaching reigns… he has FOUR Stanley Cups as a player and TWO as an assistant coach and was one of the KEY masterminds who DESTROYED Vancouver behind the bench with the powerhouse Bruins in 2011… as some of you may recall.

    Also unlikely to ever miss a days work 😉

    Good signing this and I cannot wait for him to take over and bring TRAVIS GREEN up as assistant by Xmas.


    • Bud Poile

      Well done, Hockey Warrior. Excellent job at missing the subtext. Jarvis is a career assistant coach which means that he is *not* a threat to replace Desjardins. By the way, “elite” is spelled “l33t” or “1337” by internet trolls – you’re doing it wrong.

    • Dirty30

      I can’t believe any living thing ever wasted time giving birth to you.

      You ever show your mother the garbage you post?

      It would make any woman pro-choice.

  • wojohowitz

    Is there any chance of him changing his names to Jeff Jarvis or Jimmy Jarvis?

    It just sounds better and there’s only room for one Doug on any coaching staff. The two Doug limit has never been broken before in pro sports

  • wojohowitz

    Doug Jarvis never missed a game in his entire NHL playing career, which was over 900 games, if I recall.

    Just have the guy give a blood transfusion to every member of the Canucks and the team will be invincible.

  • Rolland

    Its nice to have a quality hockey mind behind the bench, hopefully WD has an open mind to any suggestions that he can contribute.
    I hope he can resurrect the pp with the new parts that have been added. Anything will be an improvement.

  • Steamer

    Nothing against Doug Jarvis,

    But not even my program J.A.R.V.I.S. can rescue the Canucks from the abysmal coaching of Willie “Roll 4 lines at any cost” D.

    $20 says Dorsett leads all Canucks in minutes this season when down a goal in the 3rd.

  • Steamer

    Nothing against Doug Jarvis,

    But not even my program J.A.R.V.I.S. can rescue the Canucks from the abysmal coaching of Willie “Roll 4 lines at any cost” D.

    $20 says Dorsett leads all Canucks in minutes this season when down a goal in the 3rd.

  • wojohowitz

    Doug Jarvis was the shut down center on the Montreal team that won four cups in a row. He was not very big or fast but he knew his positioning and he knew how to win a faceoff which is one of the Canucks biggest weaknesses – win the faceoff or chase the puck.