Minnesota Wild Officially Hire Mike Yeo As Head Coach

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Minnesota Wild Make Hiring Of Mike Yeo Official

At a press conference in St. Paul on Friday afternoon, the Minnesota Wild officially announced the hiring of 37-year old Mike Yeo as the third head coach in the history of the franchise.

Yeo was the head coach of the Wild's AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros, for just one year, but in that year he led the team to the Calder Cup Finals against the Binghamton Senators. Though the Aeros lost the series in six games, the Wild liked what they saw from Yeo enough to offer him the head coaching job with the big club.

Yeo succeeds Todd Richards, who was fired right after the regular season concluded. Richards was the coach of the Wild for two years, where he compiled a record of 77-71, and the Wild failed to make the post-season both years. Prior to Richards, the coach of the Wild was Jacques Lemaire, who compiled a record of 293-255-55 while behind the Minnesota bench.

Our friends over at Hockey Wilderness, the best Minnesota Wild site on the internet, seem to be big fans of the hire of Yeo, who got the job over rumored names such as Craig MacTavish and Ken Hitchcock.

[T]he hiring of Mike Yeo is a great one. He is a great choice, and Fletcher is right, he fits the team. At least on paper. Yeo has some solid defensive team training from Therrien and Tippet, he coached an Aeros team that was strong defensively, and has shown he can win with players that shouldn't be able to win. 

I was terrified that the Wild were going to hire what I call a "stop gap coach." That is what McTavish or Hitchcock would have been. Stop gaps to put a band-aid on the problem and pretend it will stop the bleeding. The Wild were not a very good team. They still aren't. Bringing in a coach that can draw a little blood from the stone and get three or four more wins is not what the organization needed. They need someone who can take the reigns, ride out the rough patch, and make it better long term.

Be sure to check out HW for more on the hiring of Mike Yeo, and all your NHL news.

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Report: Minnesota Set To Hire Mike Yeo As Third Head Coach In Wild History

According to multiple media outlets (including KFAN and Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune), the Minnesota Wild are set to hire Houston Aeros coach Mike Yeo. Yeo allegedly impressed the Wild brass with his second interview and was chosen over former Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish to succeed Todd Richards as the third Head Coach in franchise history. A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow at 11 AM to introduce the new head coach.

Yeo has only one season as a professional head coach but made the most out of it as he led the Wild minor league club Aeros to the Calder Cup (AHL Championship) Finals. Before that Yeo spent five seasons as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins and was a part of their 2009 Stanley Cup championship. He is the second head coach hired by General Manager Chuck Fletcher with ties to the Pittsburgh organization – Fletcher was an assistant general manager with the Penguins before taking the Wild GM job – and hopefully will have more success than Richards, whose tenure ended April 11 after two seasons behind the Wild bench.

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Minnesota Wild Coaching Search Expected To Go Through June, GM Chuck Fletcher Says

A new Wild coach might not be announced until late June following Todd Richards end of season firing, perhaps even after the NHL Draft, according to Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher.

"I don't know that it would go much past that. I don't know how quickly it's going to come together, but I'm assuming by the end of June things should be taken care of," Fletcher told Charley Waters of the Pioneer Press. "But who knows - maybe something unexpected happens in a couple weeks. I don't anticipate this dragging on all summer, that's for sure. We've put a lot of time into it already. It doesn't have to be done by the draft, but usually these things get done by the draft."

Last week it was reported that former Edmonton Oilers coach and current TSN hockey analyst Craig MacTavish was interviewed, but Fletcher told Waters that he's not necessarily looking for a veteran over a younger guy - or requiring NHL head coaching experience.

It's possible that part of the reason the coaching search is still going on is due to Fletcher wanting to interview coaches who are still part of NHL Playoff teams, though it would make sense to have a coach in place regardless before the NHL Draft.

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