The Minnesota Wild have been a huge disappointment in the NHL this season. Coming off a season where they finished third in the central division and earned 103 points, expectations were high in the State of Hockey.
So far, it is safe to say those expectations have not been met. The Wild find themselves in 7th place in the Central Division and only two points ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks who are in last place. They are 5-10-4 for 14 standings points.
The Wild needed to have a shakeup and that’s what they did by firing head coach Dean Evason and assistant coach Bob Woods Monday afternoon.
John Hynes was named the new head coach following the announcement of Evason’s firing on the team’s X account:
The Minnesota Wild are going to finish the rest of this season with John Hynes
Hynes comes in with 9 seasons of NHL coaching experience. He has five years spent with the New Jersey Devils and four with the Nashville Predators.
He last coached in the league in 2022-2023 with the Predators before being relieved of his duties. He will look to turn around the season for a Minnesota team that is definitely too talented to keep playing this way.
Dean Evason had an impressive 147-77-27 record during his tenure as Wild head coach. A main issue with the Wild has been their inability to make it out of the first round of the playoffs, even going back prior to Evason’s tenure.
The hope of Evason changing the Wild’s woes in the first round ended up being false. In 2019-2020, the Wild qualified for the playoffs via the qualifying round (the COVID-19 bubble) but fell to the Vancouver Canucks.
In 2021, they lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in seven games in the first round. In 2022, they fell in six games to the St Louis Blues.
Despite Evason’s great regular season record, playoff success is what you’re remembered by. Hynes will look to change this narrative as Minnesota isn’t called the state of hockey for nothing. They are hoping that he can get them going back in the right direction.