Minnesota Wild introduce new head coach

Monday marked a bittersweet day for Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin as the team grappled with a seven-game winless streak, earning only two points over the stretch and a disappointing 5-10-4 start to the season. Faced with the team’s lack of confidence and swagger, Guerin decided to make a change by dismissing head coach Dean Evason, who had been with the Wild for four-plus seasons.

Guerin expressed that the players needed a fresh perspective, acknowledging that the coaches couldn’t execute for them, and the team was struggling to generate offense. With the inability to trade an entire roster, Guerin felt compelled to make a coaching change, and he didn’t believe the current situation would improve without it.

Evason had led the Wild to three Stanley Cup Playoff appearances, albeit all ending in first-round exits, and accumulated 147 wins during his tenure. Following Evason’s departure, John Hynes was swiftly announced as his replacement. Hynes, formerly with the Nashville Predators, had been the coach for the past four seasons, amassing 234 wins before being fired in May after failing to make the playoffs.

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Hynes, excited about the opportunity with the Wild, emphasized the honor of coaching in the NHL and the potential he saw in the team’s roster. However, the current challenge lies in getting more production from key players. Star forward Kirill Kaprizov has struggled, scoring only six goals in 19 games, with Guerin noting a change in his demeanor amid the team’s struggles. Additionally, young talent Matt Boldy has faced challenges, dealing with an upper body injury and a slow start to the season.

The Wild’s assistant coaches took charge of the morning skate on Tuesday, with Hynes spending the day connecting with players and fostering a collective effort to turn the team’s fortunes around. Many players took accountability for the coaching change, acknowledging the need for improvement.

Guerin clarified that Hynes is not a short-term solution, stating that the new head coach would be with the team beyond this season. The focus is on a long-term commitment to rebuilding and achieving success with the Minnesota Wild.

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