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.
The Winnipeg Jets turned back the clock on Thursday by bringing assistant coach Perry Pearn into the fold.
Pearn, 61, began his NHL coaching career with the “version 1.0” Jets in 1995-96, serving under then-head man Terry Simpson.
(Fun fact: Winnipeg’s other assistant at the time was current Leafs bench boss Randy Carlyle.)
After serving time with the Jets, Pearn bounced from the Senators to the Rangers to the Canadiens. It was in Montreal where he was controversially fired just eight games into the 2011-12 season, viewed by many as a scapegoat after the Canadiens got off to their worst start to a season in 70 years.
According to a statement released on the Jets website, Pearn isn’t replacing anybody from last year’s staff, but rather adding to the dynamic. He’ll work under head coach Claude Noel along with assistants Charlie Huddy, Pascal Vincent, Tony Borgford and Wade Flaherty.
Considering how things have been going in Montreal for those in charge, Habs GM Pierre Gauthier might want to make sure the Canadiens get things turned around.
Montreal’s mostly disappointing season has seen messages being sent from above all year long.
They fired former assistant coach Perry Pearn to send a message that the losing had to stop. That move got the Canadiens turned around a bit, but consistency was still lacking.
They traded for Tomas Kaberle from Carolina to help clean things up on the blue line with Andrei Markov out with knee problems. Now Jacques Martin has been fired and if this move doesn’t pan out for Montreal, it could be Pierre Gauthier who goes next and his track record isn’t too hot.
Since taking over as Canadiens GM from Bob Gainey in February 2010, Gauthier’s moves haven’t been impressive. Checking out his track record courtesy of All Habs (Part 1, Part 2), Gauthier’s done more to find parts for Montreal’s AHL team than the NHL team. All that’s left behind in Montreal now are Tomas Kaberle, Lars Eller (the “big name” in the Jaroslav Halak trade), Mike Blunden, and Petteri Nokelainen. Yikes.
Those trades on top of Erik Cole’s monster contract this summer don’t make for a great track record while the Canadiens roll along in mediocre fashion. Gauthier’s pick for the next head coach had better be a good one because it could be the man that saves his job.