Dallas Stars Headshots

Could Desjardins (a.k.a. Whiteboard Willie) be a fit for Penguins?


“We’re going to have to have a coach that can make the proper adjustments during a game or during a certain period of time in the regular season or during a playoff series. Obviously, the Penguins can score, and they can go, and they can score in bunches, but based on looking at the Penguins from a distance, because that’s where I was, I don’t think that they could make the proper adjustments against certain teams.”

That was new Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford today, talking about the kind of head coach he wants to hire to replace Dan Bylsma.

Which begs the question — might Willie Desjardins be on Rutherford’s short list?

We only ask, because Desjardins — currently coaching the AHL’s Texas Stars in the Calder Cup Finals — is known as a strong tactician, the kind of coach that treats hockey like a game of chess.

From the Dallas Morning News:

Desjardins earned the nickname “Whiteboard Willie” when he coached the Medicine Hat Tigers. A teacher who believes greatly in the visual side of coaching, he carried around a whiteboard and notebook even back then to “show” players what they needed to do.

Desjardins has already been connected to the coaching vacancy in Vancouver, though we wonder if Bylsma might be the favorite there now.

Related: Fiddler endorses ‘great motivator’ Desjardins for NHL coaching job

Kings, NHLPA announce settlement in Richards grievance

Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers

The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”

The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.

The NHLPA released a similar statement.

It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.

We’re starting to find out some details now:

How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?

Stay tuned.

Report: Ex-NHLer Aaron Ward arrested for ‘assault on a female’ (Updated)

Brad May, Kevin Hodson, Jiri Fischer, Aaron Ward

Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for “assault on a female,” per WNCN.

Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.

Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.

Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.

According to the warrant for his arrest, he took away his wife’s phone.

Because of the nature of his charges, Ward will spend a mandatory 48 hours in the Wake County jail. Anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge is held for 48 hours before bail is set.

And here’s a statement from TSN: