The Minnesota Wild announced that they have relieved both Head Coach Dean Evason and Assistant Coach Bob Woods from their coaching duties. This comes after the Wild have lost seven games in a row. While last week, a coaching change seemed unlikely, the tone started to shift over the weekend.
Dean Evason was originally hired in 2018 as an assistant coach. On February 14, 2020, Evason was announced as the Interim Head Coach. On July 13, 2020, the Wild made him the Head Coach and dropped “interim” from his title. He was the fifth full-time Head Coach and 6th Head Coach overall in Wild franchise history.
Minnesota Wild President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Bill Guerin thanked Evason in the press release, saying that Evason “did an excellent job during his tenure with the Minnesota Wild, especially as Head Coach.”
Bob Woods has been with the Wild organization since the 2017-18 season. He was an Assistant Coach and was also in charge of the struggling penalty kill. He was also tasked with overseeing the defense.
Guerin also publicly thanked Woods “…for his hard work during his time as an Assistant Coach with the Wild.”
The Wild are currently ranked 30th out of 32 teams in the league. The last few games, it has seemed like the Wild might be improving. But the losses against two conference rivals (the Colorado Avalanche on Friday and the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday) were too much to overlook, and a change was needed.
Michael Russo of the Athletic has speculated that the next Head Coach of the Wild might be John Hynes. That would make Hynes the 7th overall Head Coach of the Wild. Hynes has previously served as Head Coach of the New Jersey Devils from June 2, 2015 through December 3, 2019. He then served as Head Coach of the Nashville Predators for parts of four seasons from January 7, 2020, until May 30, 2023.