Willie Desjardins Officially Named Canucks Head Coach!

Its official!

Willie Desjardins has been named Canucks 18th head coach in franchise history.

I am not sure that this is a surprise and rumours have been swirling for a few weeks now that the Canucks were very interested in Willie.

I have heard complaints from Canucks fans that an experienced NHL head coach wasn’t selected but Willie’s selection might not be poor choice.

Willie has won as a head coach at every level of hockey and that means a lot.

Canucks Expected to Announce Willie Desjardins as Head Coach

Looks like the Head Coach search is finally over for the Canucks. Willie Desjardins appears to be the front runner for the position.

Willie Desjardins, 58, led the AHL’s Texas Stars to Calder Cup win over the St. John’s IceCaps this past season.

Willie has served as the Texas Stars’ head coach for the past two seasons, following a three-year stint as an assistant coach with Dallas.

Desjardins, a native of Climax Saskatchewan, also won a WHL championship in 2004 as coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Having a won a few championships in different leagues, Desjardins has demonstrated that he knows what it takes to take a team over the top.

Is he the right choice?

Time will tell, but at least the Canucks selected a good solid coach. One with the right pedigree.

What Return Can The Canucks Expect From Kesler Trade

The draft and free agency is quickly approaching and the Canucks have to make some decisions not the least of which is what to do with Ryan Kesler.

So it is apparent that the Canucks need to trade Kesler. There is no choice in my opinion the trade needs to happen so what can the Canucks expect to get in return for the veteran center?

Here are the positives that make Kesler attractive to other teams around the league.

He has some grit to his game
Tremendous speed
Excellent shot
Great penalty killer
Lots of heart – wants to win!
Playoff Success
Career high 41 goals in 2010-11
Career high 75 points in 2009-10
Good size 6′ 2″ 202lbs
Signed for 2 years at 5 million as season

In my opinion in 2010-11 Kesler demonstrated what kind of dominate player he can be in the series against Nashville where he was the main reason the Canucks won the series.

The Canucks should be looking for at least a roster player, a prospect and a first round pick in a trade.

I believe the return for Kesler will be at its highest point during this off season. Canucks have a history of making mistakes by not making a trade when the value is high… I hope they do not make a similar one here.

Canucks Parting Ways With David Booth?

The rumours have been circulating for two seasons and now it appears the Vancouver Canucks are finally cutting their ties with forward David Booth.

The Canucks placed Booth on conditional waivers on Tuesday for the purpose of a buyout. David Booth has one year left on his contract at a $4.25 million cap hit which the Canucks management feel could be better spent elsewhere.

After a very poor start Booth finished with nine goals and 10 assists in 66 games this past season.

Booth never seemed to fit in to the Canucks plans. Booth worked hard and had a lot of bad luck with injuries and just never got on a roll. I understand the thought process behind the buyout but I wonder if Booth was finally ready to bust loose.

Hard to say. Good luck Booth on the next chapter of your NHL Career. We wish you the best and thank you for the efforts you gave us. I only wish things could have been better for everyone!

Head Coach Wanted: Vancouver Canucks

Okay so the news isn’t new, the Canucks are looking for a new head coach. The experiment with John Tortorella proved to be an epic failure so the question is, who should be the next head coach of the Vancouver Canucks.

The next coach needs to have a defensive mindset but he must be willing to allow the team to be creative on the attack. Torts was too defensive and too system oriented. Though I think some system needs to be added to this Canucks team, the players need to be able to make in game and in play adjustments.

Here are the traits I think a head coach needs to have.

  1. Class – The coach needs to be respected at all times.
  2. Control – Be in control, stern when needed. Do not allow the players to step out of line.
  3. Motivational – Be aware of the struggles of the players, learn the buttons that make a player tick. Kick them in the butt if they need it, but be prepared to pick them up when they can’t seem to pick themselves up.
  4. Creative – Do not be afraid to experiment. Make changes to the line up when things get stale and over a long season this is going to happen.
  5. Fun – The head coach needs to allow the players opportunities to enjoy the game and play loose. Can’t always be about the “business” of hockey.
  6. Intelligent – Good coaches need to be able to take the temperature of a game. When things aren’t working, come up with solutions. Do not be ridged in your believe and try the same thing over and over again.
  7. Pedigree – Coach much have some hockey background with some success as a player or a coach. The head coach must have extensive knowledge of the NHL and the players.
  8. Winner – Must have won a championship title in the NHL, AHL or another competitive league. Must have some success.

Who do you think best exemplifies these traits?
Dan Bylsma – Dan has an excellent record. Great hockey pedigree and acts with tremendous class. The question with Dan is, was his success a result of the Pittsburgh players or because of his talent as a coach?

Kirk Muller – Excellent hockey pedigree. Very classy and well liked around the league. Is Kirk available? Hard to say.

Doug Houda – Coming from the Boston organization Doug Houda has long been associated with the defensive style the Bruins play. With Benning being the General Manager Doug could be on his radar.

John Stevens – Assistant coach for the Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings. Great pedigree, respected and intelligent. He may be ready for another head coaching job.

Tough decision. I am not suggesting the Canucks will hire one of these men but I think these are the leading candidates.

Does Ryan Kesler Want Out Of Vancouver?

I am wondering how true the reports of Kesler requesting a trade are.

Ryan Kesler has been a main stay down the middle of the ice in Vancouver since 2003. Almost every year Ryan has shown improvement and the desire to win in Vancouver and his apparent decision to leave was almost unfathomable three years ago. The loss in the Stanley Cup finals really seems to have wounded the Canucks plyers psyche deeply. Remember how lights out Kesler was against the Preditors during that run so you can only imagine how pained Kesler was with that loss. He took it personally for sure!

What seems like out of the blue, last year reports after the Olympics stated Kesler wanted out of Vancouver. I can’t believe that the reporters are inaccurate in their reporting but I wonder where everything went wrong. I know the addition of Torts as the GM caused a rift with management but with the changes I would have thought Kesler would give the Canucks a chance to correct the errors of the past.

I am not sure trading Kesler is the right move to make. That being said, if he wants out, then we must do everything in our power to move him quickly. We do not want another circus around this team for yet another year.

Hopefully the reports that Kesler wants out is false, but if not, the Canuck management team must move quickly to make a good hockey deal.