Vancouver (AFP) - Willie Desjardins, who guided the Dallas Stars' top developmental club to a championship last week, was named Monday as the new coach of the National Hockey League's Vancouver Canucks.
Desjardins coached the Texas Stars for the past two seasons, guiding the Austin-based club to the American Hockey League crown earlier this month.
He was previously coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers, a Canadian junior club, for eight seasons, including a stint as general manager as well from 2005-10.
"Willie Desjardins has won at every level and we believe he'll be an excellent fit as we strive to return to the playoffs and build with youth for long-term success," Canucks general manager Jim Benning said.
"Willie is a great teacher, motivator and communicator. His teams have competed with a style of play we believe will help us compete in our division and in the playoffs."
The Canucks won 36 of 82 games last season and finished eight points behind Dallas for the last playoff berth in the NHL's Western Conference.
That led the Canucks to fire coach John Tortorella after only one season in the post. He had replaced Alain Vigneault, who guided Vancouver to five playoff appearances in a row, including the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.