Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Canucks fire Desjardins

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Willie Desjardins has been fired as the Canucks head coach.

The move comes one day after the Canucks finished with a lowly 30-43-9 record, which landed them as the second worst team in the NHL.

A native of Climax, Saskatchewan, Desjardins never seemed to be able to get his team to peak after a successful first season.

Desjardins was hired as the teams head coach on June 23rd, 2014 replacing John Tortorella after his one season behind the Canucks bench.

In his first season with the Canucks, Desjardins helped carry the team to a 2nd place finish in the division, a birth in the playoffs and a 100 point season. His squad lost in six games, and it went downhill from there.

While he didn’t have much to work with, Desjardins often made odd usage with the players he did have.

Following a first season that saw him win 48 games, he only was able to muster 61 wins in the following two seasons.

Following last night’s 5-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, here is what Desjardins had to say when asked if he had any regrets:

“You always do when you lose. After a game you lose, you always think I could have done this, I could have done that but I wouldn’t do anything differently with the information I had at the time. At the time I made the decision, I believed in what I did.” – The Province

Vancouver now joins the likes of the Flordia Panthers, Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights as teams looking for a head coach.

  • Sidhu

    Do we get a second round pick as compensation if some other team hires Willie this summer?

    Also I like Gallant as the next coach, he did a great job with the youth in Florida.

  • Holmes

    Probably an untenable situation with Willy. I wasn’t a fan nor did I really object to the guy. With a 69-point season, there is just too much stench coming off the Canuck cadaver to let him have another go at things. Onthe plus side, he did help deliver a sweet draft slot!

  • Burnabybob

    Poor Willie. He inherited a team that was in the process of bottoming out. Making them into a winner would have been difficult for even the best coach. The next coach will have a tough row to hoe as well, and I bet the Canucks finish in the cellar again next year, before they finally start to turn things around in the 2018-19 season.

  • Oilfaninvan

    Why is everyone listing the big name coaches as potential candidates for the now vacant head coach position?? Why on earth would a coach like Ruff or Hitchcock want to get involved with this mess until the management situation is more stable? There is too much uneasiness surrounding the Canucks at the moment to attract a bit ticket coach.

  • I am Ted

    I liked how WD handled most of the young guys. He made them accountable and didn’t gift them much (with a few exceptions). My issues were his deployment and match-ups. He is too stubborn and didn’t make adjustments. The youth angle didn’t get him fired…it was a lot of other stuff.

  • Dirty30

    Do a Pat Quinn and have Benning be GM/Coach as he selected a lot of the players on the ice. Hire some good assistants who could be groomed to be ahead Coach once the team transitions from this to something competitive again.

    The other thought is to bring in Marcus Naslund as a transition Coach with an eye to moving him into management in a couple years. He has a good relationship with the Sedins and TL and might be willing to take on a thankless role while the team rebuilds.

    Every other Coach is going to go for the win at any cost and that didn’t work for WD so why would any other Coach do anything different?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    I think WD did a reasonably good job with a bad roster. Having watched the Edmonton debacle closely, the Canucks need to avoid destroying good players by putting them in positions to fail too early. Sometimes you get lucky. But more often, you set them back – particularly when the team does not have any roster depth. Letting Megna, Skille and Chaput fail is better than letting legitimate prospects fall on their faces. The NHL is not a development league.

    I wish Willie D well and hope he gets another shot. I hope that Canucks fans are more generous with his successor, don’t expect a the playoffs in the next few seasons, and are patient with player development (start Boeser in Utica, please!).


  • G-Bear Delight

    Willie was not a team player when it came to the long term goal. As a result, he is gone. Can’t help but think he was more worried about his own win/loss record as a coach that what was right for the team, reminded me of Coach V. Gallant and Green are obvious choices, but Gallant would sure be an interesting if hired and safer than hiring a rookie in Green for Linden & company.

  • defenceman factory

    Willie didn’t get fired because the Canucks finished 29th. There is a long list of other reasons. The powerplay sucked, kept sucking and never changed. Young players having a good game got sat in the third period because they are young. Consistent 20+ goal scorers Vrbata and Ericksson regressed to irrelevance. It’s unknown if Markstrom can fill the roll of starter for a couple years because Willie wouldn’t play him in consecutive games even after he played well. His in game adjustments were almost non-existent and his deployments often bizarre. Beyond not being very effective Willie’s systems make games boring to watch. Polling suggests they sell more season tickets with a new coach. Willie might be a decent coach for a decent team. This isn’t one and he wouldn’t do the things needed to build one.

  • JohnnyCanuck62

    It seems to me that Travis Green may still be one of the best options for the Canucks. Although many think it a risky move to hire another rookie NHL Coach, Travis Green has 970 NHL games as a player on his resume, something that Desjardins didn’t. He also has had success working with young players and who better to mentor them. Ruff, Hichcock, Crawford, Therrien, are likely not the answer. In the Interviews I’ve seen Travis seams like an intellegent, articulate communicator. Perfect for the young core the Canucks are trying to build. He looks to be getting JV back on track, I recently saw him in an interview and the weight loss was certainly visible, as was what looked like a change in attitude.
    I really think the Canucks should give Green his shot. Expectations will already be low for the next season or two so is it not the perfect time to let a rookie coach get his feet wet. If not he could likely be gone to another club anyhow and the relationships he has developed with some of the young talent will be wasted.

  • Mcluff

    Ahh, poor Willie. Your system and coaching was good enough to get us a 101 point season and back into the playoffs after the tortorella debacle, but how quickly that goes by the wayside. Calgary showed us what happens when your defence is old and slow and your forwards can’t finish A-grade scoring chances, so the rebuild began. Last year you gave some young guys free rein, only to see that it didn’t have great results. This year you made them earn their time, to this fan’s appreciation at least; in my opinion that’s how you get them to respect the process and get them to work harder on the details of the game. I liked the development of some of the younger players, liked how you managed to get a few veterans to perform better than expected. Didn’t mind the lines either, trying to balance scoring and yet still have a guy that makes up for the defensive shortcomings of the sedin’s as they face the opposition’s top lines can’t be easy (losing hansen to injury sucked), and burrows, bo and baer was a great line to watch as well. If I give you credit, I also have to give you blame for the shortcomings; that power play was horrific and stagnant, and we never did get much out of our high priced free agents. I do get a chuckle that when you finally did play the youth like so many people wanted…our wins/loss record dropped like a hammer. Seems like your strategy of playing the vets was a wee bit better in terms of winning (who would have thought??), though the tankers appreciate your end of season efforts.

    Best of luck in the future Willie, found myself rooting for the canucks because of you as well as the players, which is not something I’ve been able to say for past coaches.

  • Braindead Benning

    Dim Jim and Yes Man TL” No balls” have servived… Yay… 2 stooges left… too bad they took the easy way and fired the least retarded person.. let the countdown begin with the leftovers cretins