The Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins have asked the Dallas Stars for permission to speak with Texas Stars coach Willie Desjardins about their respective coaching vacancies, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.
Under Desjardins, Texas had the best regular-season record in the American Hockey League (48-18-10, 106 points) and won the Calder Cup with a five-game series win against the St. John's IceCaps.
Desjardins is one of a handful of candidates reportedly being considered for the Vancouver job. The list includes Portland Winterhawks coach Mike Johnston and former NHL coach Marc Crawford.
The Canucks, who fired John Tortorella on May 1 after one season as coach, have asked for permission to interview New York Rangers associate coach Scott Arniel.
Desjardins coached under Crawford and Canucks assistant Glen Gulutzan in Dallas; he won two championships in eight seasons as coach and general manager of the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League. Medicine Hat is the hometown of Canucks president Trevor Linden.
Dallas GM Jim Nill recently told the Dallas Morning News he would not prevent Desjardins from pursuing a coaching position in the NHL
"The teams have been very conscientious about the playoffs, so they haven't asked for permission yet, but I'll definitely grant it," Nill said. "I believe you want to allow your people to advance, because it's good for the entire organization. You want your players to advance to the NHL, and you want your coaches and trainers or managers to advance. I think that's the right way to do things."
Arniel was 45-60-18 from 2010-12 as Columbus Blue Jackets coach. He spent five seasons coaching Vancouver's AHL affiliates in Chicago (2012) and Manitoba (2006-10).
In addition to Desjardins, the Penguins' list of candidates to replace Dan Bylsma includes Crawford, Ron Wilson and New York Rangers assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.
The Vancouver Province reported Bylsma was in Vancouver on Tuesday to talk to the Canucks.