Willie Desjardins may be a rookie head coach in the NHL, but he is going to have a veteran with him behind the bench.
The Vancouver Canucks announced they’ve hired Perry Pearn to assist Desjardins. Pearn spent the past two seasons with the Winnipeg Jets and was with the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Ottawa Senators before that.
You might recall Pearn was fired in Montreal early during the 2011-12 season while the Habs were mired in losing and the power play suffered under his watch. It was believed he was canned so as to give then GM Pierre Gauthier a bit more time to try and figure things out. He did not.
According to Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun, Pearn will assist Desjardins from upstairs and help work on the power play. Fellow assistant Glen Gulutzan will work on the penalty kill.
While Desjardins has plenty of coaching experience in the AHL, having two experienced NHL guys in Pearn and Gulutzan should help get things going for him in Vancouver.
Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Dallas Stars.
Last season marked yet another disappointment for the Stars. They finished last in the Pacific Division and missed out on the playoffs for the fifth straight season. Doing that while trying to bring fans back to American Airlines Center is rather counterproductive.
This season, they’ll have a lot of new things going for them. New uniforms, a new division, a new coach, and a new set of forwards including a potential star forward who ran into some troubles with his previous team. Is it all going to be enough to get Dallas back to the playoffs? That’s why they play the games.
Things were a bit busy in Dallas this summer.
Coach Glen Gulutzan was fired and Lindy Ruff now takes over behind the bench. GM Joe Nieuwendyk was ushered out of office and replaced by former Red Wings guru Jim Nill. Meanwhile, top forward Loui Eriksson was dealt to Boston in a blockbuster deal that netted them hotshot forward Tyler Seguin and steady veteran Rich Peverley.
Speaking of steady veterans, the Stars also traded for Edmonton center Shawn Horcoff and Ottawa defenseman Sergei Gonchar. Veteran goalie Dan Ellis was also brought on board to give Kari Lehtonen more consistent support.
The Stars went the veteran route the previous offseason adding Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jagr only to see that not exactly work out for the best. This time around they solved issues up the middle and added a real X-factor in Seguin. If his off-ice distractions were a real issue and they’re put aside, the Stars may have found the perfect young guy to team up with their own stud forward Jamie Benn.
After making so many moves, no matter what the Stars will be a team to watch. As they dig into the new Central Division, if things break right they very well may be back in the playoffs.
Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series
It was rumored a few weeks ago that Mike Sullivan and Glen Gulutzan would join John Tortorella in Vancouver, and now that has been confirmed by the coach himself.
While speaking at the Canucks Summer Summit, Tortorella confirmed that both men will be joining him as assistants behind the bench. He also noted that video coach Darryl Williams and goalie coach Rollie Melanson would be staying on board.
Sullivan was Tortorella’s assistant while with the New York Rangers and the two have five seasons of experience together there. Sullivan is also a former head coach of the Boston Bruins.
Gulutzan, who was fired by the Stars after this past season, wound up not being out of work very long. Tortorella says he’s looking forward to working with him in Vancouver.