Willie Desjardins: Coaching Canucks perfect preparation for Team Canada without NHL players

The Elbow staff

Image source: AHL

Image source: AHL

TORONTO, ON – Head coach of Canada's men's hockey team, Willie Desjardins, today told reporters that the experience he got coaching the Canucks will prove invaluable at next year's Olympic Games.

After three years behind the bench in Vancouver, Desjardins believes he has the perfect experience to lead a team without one single NHL player.

"That's what I've been doing for the past few years," he said on Tuesday. "When it comes to teams like this, simplicity is the name of the game."

"We never had any whiteboards on the bench. X’s and O’s got a little confusing for most of the guys, so before each game we'd pick one theme and stick with it."

"These can vary between focusing on our skating, or passing, or shooting."

Desjardins said he would often spend most practices teaching individual players how to lift the puck for saucer passes, or for the more advanced guys, aiming as high as the goalie's chest.

"Obviously some of these guys on Team Canada will have been legitimate NHL-level players once upon a time, so I think I'm definitely coming into a more privileged position."

Like us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the latest news.