The Dallas Stars this morning officially announced this morning that Willie Desjardins will be added to the coaching staff after a successful stint with the Western Hockey League's Medicine Hat Tigers for 8 years which included 2 WHL Titles in 2004 and 2007 which included a Memorial Cup Finals Appearance in 2007 where they lost to the Vancouver Giants who hosted the event that year.
Also announced was an extension for former Player Stu Barnes for next season as well.
Dallas Stars Press Release: http://stars.nhl.com/
The Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk announced today that the club has named Willie Desjardins assistant coach and the club re-signed Stu Barnes for next season.
"We are very excited to name Willie Desjardins to our coaching staff," said Nieuwendyk. "He has run an exceptional program in Medicine Hat for almost a decade now. Willie's winning pedigree and positive attitude brings a lot to our organization. He will help the Dallas Stars in our efforts to take the next step in getting back to the playoffs. "We believe Stu is an important piece to our coaching staff and our pleased to continue our relationship with him."
"Willie has run the model program in the WHL and has been responsible for the development of many NHL Players," added head coach Marc Crawford. "He has been very successful at the World Junior Championships. Desjardins will bring a fresh prospective, new ideas and help with continued improvement of the Dallas Stars."
Desjardins, 53, spent the past 8 seasons with the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) and has served as the Team's GM since 2005. He won the WHL Championship with Medicine Hat in 2004 and 2007. Desjardins coached the Tigers at the Memorial Cup Tournament in those seasons and was the runner up in 2007.
The native of Climax, Saskatchewan, served as an assistant coach at the 2009 World Junior Championships, helping Team Canada win Gold. He was named the Head Coach of the 2010 World Junior Championships and earned the Silver Medal with Team Canada as the USA ended the Canadian World Junior Winning Streak.
During his time with the Medicine Hat Tigers, the club had finished in the top three in goals scored in six of the past 8 seasons. He posted a 333-182-61 regular season record and a 65-43 record in the playoffs during his time with the Tigers. All of Desjardins team have qualified for the playoffs when he started with the season with the club. He coached a number of current NHL Players including Cam Barker, Joffrey Lupul and Darren Helm.
Barnes, 39, has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Dallas Stars with his primary focus being the clubs forwards and power play. Barnes helped increase Dallas' total goals scored and power play percentages from 2008-2009 to last season.
The native of Spruce Groove, Alberta, skated in 1,136 games with the Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres and the Dallas Stars. Barnes spent the last 5 seasons in the NHL with Dallas and retired from playing after the 2007-2008 season.
Here's some Quotes from Marc Crawford as he was on the phone with Mike Heika earlier today.
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