Canucks coach Desjardins has hip surgery, will miss training camp

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Not your traditional injury update:

Canucks coach Willie Desjardins has undergone successful hip surgery, the club announced today. The 58-year-old bench boss is expected to return to regular coaching duties by opening night (Oct. 7 in Calgary).

“Willie has been dealing with the chronic discomfort for a long time and our medical staff has been monitoring it since he joined us last year. Unfortunately his hip deteriorated rapidly in recent weeks and it required immediate attention,” said GM Jim Benning. “Willie’s expected to recover quickly and will be connected every day until he’s ready to be back in person.”

Obviously, not the best timing. Vancouver’s prospects have a tournament in Penticton, British Columbia, this weekend. Training camp is scheduled for the following weekend in Prince George. Desjardins will not be able to attend either.

The Canucks say that training camp and “some pre-season duties” will be shared by assistant coaches Doug Lidster, Glen Gulutzan and Perry Pearn.

Though the Canucks’ roster is mostly set, the club still needs to decide whether young Jake Virtanen deserves a spot in the lineup. Certainly, the Canucks would love the big winger to prove he does; otherwise, it’ll be back to junior for another year.