Mike Yeo Is Minnesota Wild’s choice over veterans like MacTavish and Hitchcock
It has bee reported that the Minnesota Wild have scheduled a press conference for 11:00am Central Time to announce the hiring of Mike Yeo as the new head coach. Yeo will be the third head coach in Minnesota Wild history, following Jaques Lemaire’s long tenure and Todd Richards’ brief two year stint. Mike Yeo spent last season leading the minor league affiliate Houston Aeros to the Calder Cup Finals. Yeo has never been a head coach in the National Hockey League.
The news of the coaching hire came late Thursday. Mike Russo of the Star Tribune reported the hiring. Mike Yeo spent last season as the head coach of the Wild’s minor league affiliate Houston Aeros, leading them all the way to the Calder Cup Finals, before losing to the Binghampton Senators in six games. Before coming to the Wild organization last season, Yeo spent five years as an assistant for the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he was a member of the Stanley Cup winning team in 2009. Yeo has shown he can work with talented players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, as well as the hard working scrappy players in the minor leagues.
Mike Yeo also played professionally, at one point captaining the Houston Aeros. Yeo won one Turner Cup (the former IHL championship) and is considered one of the bright young minds in the game. I personally like the hiring. I was against the idea of hiring one of the retread coaches cycling through the job interviews at this time of year. By promoting Yeo up to the NHL bench, this might also be a hint that quite a few of the players will see significant playing time at the NHL level soon.
Players like defensemen Marco Scandella, Nate Prosser, Jared Spurgeon, and Justin Falk all saw time at the NHL level last year, and at least a couple will be with the Wild on opening night this upcoming season. Forwards like Casey Wellman, Cody Almond, and Colton Gillies will also likely get a chance to make the big league team by opening night. Having these players be comfortable, and excel under the watch of Yeo, could be an important factor in the Minnesota Wild making a quantam leap sometime in the near future. With the NHL Entry Draft coming up in only a week at the Xcel Center, the hiring of Yeo is only the first step in making the Team of 18,000 happy with their team again.
Bryan Vickroy has an addiction to hockey, and is willing to partake in all its forms. He is skating extra shifts for The Sports Bank, covering the Minnesota Wild, the NHL, and NCAA hockey all year long. Look for new articles throughout the week. He can be followed on Twitter at @bryanvickroy. If you’d prefer to speak in more than 140 characters at a time to him, he can be reached at email@example.com .Follow paulmbanks