Medicine Hat Tigers coach and GM Willie Desjardins, who led Canada to a silver medal at the 2010 World Junior Championship, has joined the Dallas Stars as an associate coach.
"We are very excited to name Willie Desjardins to our coaching staff," said Stars General Manager Joe 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."
Coach Marc Crawford's staff already includes assistant coaches Charlie Huddy, Andy Moog and Stu Barnes, who signed a contract extension Tuesday.
"Willie has run the model program in the WHL and has been responsible for the development of many NHL players," said 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."
In eight seasons as coach with Medicine Hat (including the last five as GM), Desjardins won a pair of WHL titles and went to three Memorial Cups. In 2009-10, on a team led by Anaheim Ducks first-round pick Emerson Etem, the Tigers finished with 90 points and advanced to the second round of the playoffs, where they lost to eventual league champion Calgary Hitmen.
Desjardins also has a gold medal from his role as an assistant to Pat Quinn on Canada's 2009 World Junior Championship team.
The Stars also re-signed Stu Barnes, who has spent the past two seasons as an assistant with the Dallas, with his primary focus being the club’s forwards and power play. Barnes’ helped increase Dallas’ total goals scored and power-play percentage from 2008-09 to last season.
“We believe Stu is an important piece to our coaching staff and our pleased to continue our relationship with him,” Nieuwendyk said.
The 39-year-old native of Spruce Grove, Alta., skated in 1,136 NHL games with the Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres and Stars. He finished with 261 goals and 597 points in 17 seasons. Barnes spent his last five seasons in the NHL with Dallas and retired from playing after the 2007-08 season.