Minnesota Wild Fire Head Coach Dean Evason, Hire New Head Coach
The start of the 2023-2024 season for the Minnesota Wild has been, in a word, disappointing. With only a handful of wins and a position at the bottom of the division, team leadership felt something needed to be done.
There have been a lot of struggling elements in the team in the early part of the season. Poor special teams play, weak goaltending, and underwhelming from key players like Kirill Kaprizov all have amassed to a place toward the bottom of the league's standings at this point in the season. That put the team's general manager in a place where he felt like he needed to do something.
That action? Part ways with head coach Dean Evason and Assistant Coach Bob Woods. That wasn't the end of it, however. The team announced the hiring of a replacement for Evason, rather than just looking internally for an interim solution.
In a statement from team GM Bill Guerin, he commented on the change of direction, saying the following:
“Dean did an excellent job during his tenure with the Minnesota Wild, especially as Head Coach of our team. I am very thankful for his hard work and dedication to our organization.
I would also like to thank Bob for his hard work during his time as an Assistant Coach with the Wild. I wish Dean, Bob and their families all the best in the future.”
Who will be replacing Evason as the Wild head coach?
On the same day the news of Evanson's firing, it was announced the team would be bringing former New Jersey Devils and Nashville Predators coach John Hynes on to take over the duties.
Hynes and Wild GM Bill Guerin were part of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization together for a time, with Hynes on the coaching staff of their AHL team and Guerin working as a member of team leadership for the Penguins.
Hynes went on to become the head coach of the New Jersey Devils in 2015, working with the team until 2019, when he was fired by the organization. During his tenure in New Jersey, he led the Devils to their first playoff appearance in 6 years.
In January of 2020, Hynes was hired by the Nashville Predators, serving as head coach for the team until being fired in May of 2023. During his time with Nashville, the team did make a few playoff appearances.
The 48-year-old Hynes has a 284-255-63 (.524) record in 601 regular season games in his eight seasons between Nashville and New Jersey.
The team will be quickly getting to know their new head coach, as the Wild have a game on Tuesday (November 28) against the St. Louis Blues. Hynes will then return to Nashville to take on his previous team as the Wild take on the Predators on Thursday (November 30).
Stars Who Played Sports in High School and College
Gallery Credit: Jacklyn Krol