Desjardins and King to lead Team Canada in Pyeongchang

The Canadian men’s Olympic hockey team will be led by two U of S alumni at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Willie Desjardins (BEd’85) will be the head coach of Team Canada and Dave King (BAPE’71, BEd’72) will join Desjardins behind the bench as an assistant coach.

Before coaching the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Vancouver Canucks from 2014-17, Desjardins led the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League (AHL) to a Calder Cup championship.

Willie Desjardins, speaking to U of S alumni in Vancouver in December 2016, will be the head coach of the men’s hockey team at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongcheng, South Korea.

Prior to his AHL tenure, Desjardins spent two seasons as an associate coach with the Dallas Stars in the NHL from 2010-12.

Desjardins has represented Canada on coaching staffs at two world junior tournaments and one world championship. As a player, he was a part of the 1983 national champion Huskie men’s hockey team, winning the University Cup; a team coached by King.

Dave King returns behind the bench at the Olympics. King will serve as an assistant coach to Willie Desjardins at the 2018 Winter Games.

King has coached at the Winter Olympics and the National Hockey League and the Russian Super League. As head coach of the Canadian national team, he won a silver medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics. He was later hired by the Calgary Flames, and then moved to Montreal as the assistant coach of the Canadiens in 1997.

He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1992, and was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1997. King continues to be a champion for Huskie hockey as the chair of the Home Ice Campaign, an effort to build Merlis Belsher Place, a two-storey, twin-pad ice facility for minor hockey and Huskie hockey in Saskatoon.

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