Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sedins Will Have Minutes Managed as New Canucks Coach Desjardins Takes Helm

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sedins Will Have Minutes Managed as New Canucks Coach Desjardins Takes Helm

Article excerpt

Willie Desjardins vows to be himself

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VANCOUVER - While Vancouver Canucks fans demand change, new coach Willie Desjardins is preaching a status-quo approach -- with himself.

After spending more than two decades attempting to become an NHL head coach, and with training camp in Whistler, B.C., two weeks away, he is vowing not to change his style behind the bench.

"One thing I learned is, you've gotta be who you are," said Desjardins, 57, the new Canucks coach, after taking part in a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon Tuesday. "You can't be somebody you're not. (Otherwise), it just falls apart on you."

Desjardins reached the NHL this spring after helping the Texas Stars win the AHL title. He has also spent time in the Canadian university and junior ranks, winning championships at both levels, while also serving a two-season stint as a Dallas Stars assistant.

Fans want a significant improvement in the standings after the team missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008 last season. Desjardins, who finds it "unbelievable" that his long-held dream of guiding an NHL club's training camp is about to come true, suggested that chances of a Canucks turnaround are better than many people might think.

"You just get to see the quality of people," Desjardins told reporters. "Sometimes, when you get into something, you go: Oh, what I have I gotten into? But that's not the case here."

During the luncheon with 400 members of the local business community -- as well as Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden and team GM Jim Benning -- Desjardins shed some light on what fans can expect from the veteran-laden Canucks. In one notable change, contrary to the views of former Vancouver coach John Tortorella, who was fired after one season, Daniel and Henrik Sedin are likely to spend less time killing penalties.

"We have to share the workload," said Desjardins. "I don't think we're going to make the playoffs with one line being shut down. They're good at all aspects of the game. They're good at killing penalties and they're good five-on-five. They can play the power play. I think you're lucky to have players like that. For us, we want to make sure that they're able to go (and) at the end of the game, they're still fresh and they're playing hard. …

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