NHL News: Minnesota Wild Fire Dean Evason and Hire John Hynes

Dean Evason and Bob Woods Relieved of Duties

The Minnesota Wild made several headlines on Monday afternoon. First, the Wild announced they fired head coach Dean Evason and assistant coach Bob Woods.

The Minnesota Wild had expectations coming into this season, however, with the team in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, the organization decided it was time for a change.

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Press Release: “Dean did an excellent job during his tenure with the Minnesota Wild, especially as Head Coach of our team,” said President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Bill Guerin. “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,” said Guerin. “I wish Dean, Bob and their families all the best in the future.”

The Wild have a record of 5-10-4 (14 points) and only have four regulation wins this season. This is tied for the second-fewest in the NHL. Despite their record, the Wild are seven points out of a playoff spot.

Similar to the situation in Edmonton, the Wild’s defensive play has been the subject of scrutiny. The Wild are the second-worst defensive team in the NHL giving up 3.95 goals per game. Minnesota was sixth-best in that category last season.

In addition, Minnesota’s goalies have not been the same as they were last year. Filip Gustavsson has a .881 save percentage while Marc-Andre Fleury has a .875 save percentage. That will do in any coach. It also does not help that Kirill Kaprizov and Matt Boldy are not scoring.

Evason was in his fifth season as the head coach of the Wild. He was originally hired with 12 games left in the 2019-20 regular season. He has a record of 147-77-27.

Under Evason, the Wild made the postseason in his previous four seasons. However, the Wild failed to get out of the first round including the play-in round of the 2019-20 24-team playoff field in the COVID-shortened season.

John Hynes Hired As Head Coach

Minnesota then hired former New Jersey Devils and Nashville Predators head coach John Hynes.

Hynes owns a career record of 284-255-63 (.524) in 601 regular season games with the Predators and Devils. After being hired by the Predators on January 7th, 2020, Hynes brought the Predators to the playoffs in three consecutive seasons from 2020-22.

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During his time with the Devils from 2015-19, the Devils made the playoffs once in 2018 losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games.

Ryan Hartman Suspended

The final piece of Minnesota Wild news comes from the Department of Player Safety. They announced had been suspended two games for tripping Detroit forward Alex DeBrincat.