The Minnesota Wild have called a news conference for Friday morning to introduce their new coach, and they'll reportedly give the job to Mike Yeo, who coached their top farm team to the AHL Calder Cup Finals.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported Friday that Yeo, 37, will succeed Todd Richards, who was let go after failing to make the playoffs in his two seasons behind the bench. Richards got the job in 2009 after Jacques Lemaire, the only coach in franchise history to that point, resigned.
Yeo won a Stanley Cup as an assistant to Dan Bylsma in Pittsburgh in 2009. He got his first coaching job last summer when he was named the bench boss of the Wild's AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros, and led them to a 46-28-6 record, second in the Western Conference, despite a roster than was ravaged by call-ups from the parent club.
As he did in hiring Richards last year, GM Chuck Fletcher is opting for youth over experience -- former NHL coaches Craig MacTavish, Michel Therrien and Ken Hitchcock were among those who interviewed for the job. However, Yeo has 12 years in coaching, including five in the NHL; Richards had four years as an AHL assistant, two as an AHL coach and only one as an NHL assistant.