Published: Wed, April 12, 2017
Sport | By Desiree Waters

Vancouver Canucks fire head coach Willie Desjardins

Vancouver Canucks fire head coach Willie Desjardins

Given Desjardins lack of regular season success with the Canucks, it is unlikely that he will get another National Hockey League head coaching job.

The 59-year-old just completed in his third season as head coach of the team.

After their 4-0-0 start, Vancouver went on a nine-game losing streak (0-8-1) that included getting shut out four times in five games.

That being said, we saw Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi and Markus Granlund take huge steps forward in their careers under Desjardins' guidance.

"It's hard not to think about that, but the one thing you do as a coach is I coach", said Desjardins. This season, some questioned his loyalty to certain members of Vancouver's veteran core — he leaned heavily on Brandon Sutter, Luca Sbisa and Alexander Edler — as well as fringe NHLers like Michael Chaput and Jayson Megna.

"We made a very hard decision to relieve Willie Desjardins of his duties as head coach today", Canucks general manager Jim Benning said Monday.

The power play and penalty-kill were also disasters, ranked 29th and tied for 28th, respectively. The Canucks were eliminated from the playoffs in the first year under Desjardins.

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Their 12 straight games without a victory at home (0-9-3) dating back to an overtime win on February 18 to close out the schedule also broke a franchise mark previously set during the team's inaugural 1970-71 campaign.

The Vancouver Canucks are trying to jumpstart their stalled rebuild with a new head coach.

Neither goal was met, and the Canucks fired Desjardins on Monday at the conclusion of the 2016-17 regular season, according to a report from TSN insider Bob McKenzie. Winger Loui Eriksson also has a NTC and is one season (and 11 goals) into a six-year, $36-million USA contract that looks radioactive. Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann only earned the ire of a coach whose unwillingness to live with mistakes - even though a high-risk, high-reward approach may have accelerated the offensive potential of young players - wasn't going to help in the big picture because it was going to be about change and playing the kids and letting them learn through trial and error.

Vancouver missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season and finished last in the Pacific Division after dropping its last eight games.

The team regressed last season, finishing the year with a 31-38-13 record.

The plan didn't come close to providing the desired results, and Desjardins was eventually the one to pay the price.

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