Willie Desjardins has had quite a season behind the bench. He hasn’t had the opportunity to play his entire line-up healthy for a majority of the season, has had to balance youth with veterans, and he has often found himself on the wrong side of the coin. The team started off strong, but fell down hard to earth and now sit near the bottom of the league. However, they kept the coach all year long. I asked a few of our writers if they think it was handled well and here is what they said. What do you think?
I think so. It’s not like making a coaching change midway through the season would have made any appreciable difference. Better still, even the most vocal critic of Desjardins has to admit that this club seems to work their asses off for him night in and night out. That has to count for something? He’ll get fired at the end of the season, inevitably, and then everyone can move on without the instability associated with making this change in, say, December.
The Canucks handled him just fine. He didn’t handle the team as well as he could have. We all go over line deployment and the like but he also had injuries and just a really awful team to work with. He is the stepping stone for the next leader here and he did an OK job. Too bad he couldn’t stay as an assistant. Oh well, on to the next one.
I don’t see what a coaching change would have done. This team wasn’t going anywhere regardless of who was behind the bench. Willie’s been a lightning rod this season, but it’s not like he really had the horses to make it out of the cellar.
I think management handled the situation about as well as could be reasonably expected. There weren’t really any better options available early on and waiting until the end of the season was probably the correct decision. It will be interesting to see what happens next, as all signs appear to be pointing towards his dismissal this offseason.
I think the Canucks made the right move. A coaching change midway through the season with a young team isn’t ideal, especially when you know winning isn’t going to happen. The players still play for him, even though he is all but gone come the off-season. I think they approached it well though.