Willie Desjardins Fired by Vancouver Canucks After 3 Seasons

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2017

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 23:  Head coach Willie Desjardins of the Vancouver Canucks watches from the bench during the first period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on November 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Vancouver Canucks fired head coach Willie Desjardins on Monday.

"We made a very difficult decision to relieve Willie Desjardins of his duties as head coach today," general manager Jim Benning said. "It's been a challenging season and we all share responsibility for the results. However, we felt this change was necessary as we continue to develop a young team and look ahead to the future."

After reaching the postseason in Desjardins' first season in 2014-15, the Canucks failed to make the playoffs two years in a row. That culminated in a disastrous 2016-17 season that saw the team finish with just 69 points, second fewest in the NHL, and an eight-game losing streak to close the campaign.

Desjardins, 60, went 109-110-27 overall.

Pierre LeBrun of ESPN believes at least one NHL team will have interest in Desjardins, however: 

The Canucks now join the Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights as teams with coaching vacancies.

And as LeBrun noted, the Canucks are clearly "in rebuilding mode, transitioning the roster to younger players this season in the hope of soon being competitive again. That means they may have a decision to make on twin stars Henrik and Daniel Sedin, long the faces of the franchise."

In other words, more changes could be coming to the Canucks this offseason.

     

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