Dan Bylsma has had his meeting with the Canucks regarding their vacant head-coaching position this week, but it appears another top candidate is out of the mix.

Los Angeles assistant coach John Stevens had been speculated to be high on a Canucks’ list, but the Kings quashed that notion on Wednesday when they promoted him to associate coach under Darryl Sutter.

While Bylsma has a Stanley Cup (2009) and a coach of the year award (2011) on his resume while in Pittsburgh, he hasn’t had much success since in the NHL playoffs — especially surprising considering the top-end talent he’s had to work with (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, etc.) while with the Penguins. Also, if — as Canucks President of Hockey Ops Trevor Linden said this week — there is a good chance the team won’t have a new bench boss until after the NHL draft in Philly June 27-28, Bylsma will likely be hired elsewhere by then.

Bylsma had an excellent interview with Florida GM Dale Tallon last week and is believed to be the front-runner there.

Which all continues to indicate that minor league head coach Willie Desjardins is the front-runner in this race. Desjardins, whose Texas Stars won the AHL championship this week, is expected to meet with Linden and GM Jim Benning this week. So is New York Rangers associate coach Scott Arniel, who twice had been a minor league head coach in the Canucks organization.

Bylsma is apparently the fourth to interview with Linden and Jim Benning. They have already spoken with former Canucks coach Marc Crawford as well as Crawford’s former assistant, Mike Johnston, who’s now the head coach of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. Fired Florida coach Peter Horacek also been reportedly interviewed.