After a tumultuous season which saw the Vancouver Canucks finish 29th in the NHL, the club has fired head coach Willie Desjardins.
Canucks General Manager Jim Benning and President of Hockey Operations Trevor Linden announced the dismissal this morning.
This decision marks the end of Desjardins’ career at the team after three seasons behind the bench.
The announcement follows a loss to the Edmonton Oilers Sunday night, capping off a dismal season that had the Canucks finish second last in the league.
Linden says the firing is just part of a variety of changes club management will be making.
“I don’t know if it’s about how he fell short… our decision was based on just a need to make a change. I think there is a feeling between Jim and I that there’s some areas that we can improve on. Our team has transitioned significantly since our first year here and continue to get younger. At this point in time, we felt the change was necessary.”
Linden says he's encouraged about the direction the young players are going, but says "we've got a lot of work to do". #Canucks
— Matt Lee (@mattlee980) April 10, 2017
He doesn’t pin the blame completely on Desjardins, however.
“I think Jim and I sit up here every bit as responsible, and certainly at the same time we think there are things we can do better, and that’s why we made the change.”
The Canucks have missed the playoffs in two of the past three seasons.
No candidates have been mentioned for Desjardins’ replacement as of yet, and club management says they will take their time on naming his successor.