Dec 4, 2011, 2:50 PM EDT
Friday we linked you to a story about Barry Trotz and how the Predators’ long-time coach owes much of his success to getting his best players to buy in to his system.
Today we’ll link you to a story about Mike Yeo, the new Minnesota Wild coach who shares the same “my way or the highway…as long as you’re cool with it” philosophy.
A philosophy, it should be noted, that’s really working. The Wild is 16-7-3, first place in the Western Conference.
According to the StarTribune, Yeo, along with GM Chuck Fletcher, even traveled to Finland this summer to sell the system — one that presumably involves hard work and tight checking — to Mikko Koivu and Nik Backstrom.
“I definitely did try to sell our game and the way that we have to play, but without the players and their absolute commitment to playing that way and building that identity, it’s all fruitless,” Yeo said.
The general manager concurs.
“It’s about getting the message out there and creating the belief that if we play a certain way, we can win,” Fletcher said. “But then it’s up to the players to accept that and buy in to that.
“Right from Day 1, we saw it with Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley and Nick Schultz and Matt Cullen and Nik Backstrom. There was a sense from the veteran players that they were sold, and when they’re sold, the whole team is sold.”
The Wild will go for its fourth straight win tonight in Anaheim. There’s still a lot left for Minnesota to prove, but Yeo has to be one of the early candidates for coach of the year.
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