The Dallas Stars have just sent out a release on Willie Desjardins being named associate coach. They have also signed assistant coach Stu Barnes to an extension. Here's the release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk announced today that the club has named Willie Desjardins associate coach and the club has 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 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 eight seasons as the head coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL and has served as the General Manager of the club since 2005. He won the WHL Championship with Medicine Hat in 2003 and 2004. Desjardins coached the Tigers at the Memorial Cup Tournament in those two seasons and was runner-up at the 2007 Tournament.
The native of Climax, Saskatoon, served as an assistant coach at the 2009 World Junior Championships, helping Team Canada win gold. He was named the head coach of the national team in the 2010 World Junior Championships and earned the silver medal with Team Canada.
During his time with the Medicine Hat Tigers, the club has finished in the top three in goals scored in six of the past eight seasons. He has posted a collective 333-182-61 regular season record and a 65-43 record in the playoffs during his time with the Tigers. All of Desjardins’ teams have qualified for the playoffs when he has started 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 club’s forwards and power play. Barnes’ helped increase Dallas’ total goals scored and power play percentages from 2008-09 to last season.
The native of Spruce Grove, Alberta, skated in 1,136 career NHL games with the Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres and Dallas Stars. He collected 597 NHL points (261g, 336a) over 17 seasons. Barnes spent his last five seasons in the NHL with Dallas and retired from playing after the 2007-08 campaign.