“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.