VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks have hired Willie Desjardins as their new head coach.
It’s the first NHL head coaching job for the native of Climax, Sask., who most recently led the AHL’s Texas Stars to a Calder Cup championship.
Prior to joining Texas for the 2012-13 season, Desjardins coached the Medicine Hat Tigers for eight seasons, leading them to two Western Hockey League titles.
Desjardins’ resume also includes stints on Canada’s staff at two world junior tournaments and one world championship, as well as time coaching with the University of Calgary and in Japan.
The 57-year-old Desjardins succeeds John Tortorella, who was fired after just one year behind the Canucks bench.
Tortorella and former Canucks president and general manager Mike Gillis were casualties of Vancouver’s disappointing season that saw the Canucks miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008.