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Report: Wild to extend head coach Yeo

May 15, 2014, 10:43 AM EDT

mike yeo fist

After winning a playoff round for the first time in 11 years, the Minnesota Wild will reportedly bring back the coach that led them there.

Mike Yeo is expected to agree to a contract extension soon, according to sources of the Pioneer Press. Those same sources claim that both Minnesota and Yeo have “expressed interest in getting a deal done,” a key point that illustrates 1) the Wild want to keep Yeo, despite letting him coach this entire season in the last of a three-year deal with no guarantee of anything beyond; 2) Yeo won’t be hitting the open market for any of the current available gigs (Vancouver, Carolina, Florida, Washington) or ones that might come up (Pittsburgh, specifically.)

Yesterday, we asked if Yeo did enough this year to stick in Minnesota — and answered it pretty quickly.

The NHL’s youngest head coach at age 40, Yeo led the Wild to 43 wins this year, third-most in franchise history, and 98 points in the ultra-competitive Central Division, which featured the NHL’s third (Colorado), fourth (St. Louis) and seventh (Chicago) place teams.

The Wild also won a playoff round for the first time in since 2003— dispatching of the Avs in seven games — and showed great resilience against Chicago in Round 2, rebounding from an 0-2 deficit to make the series quite competitive.

Yeo did all this despite tremendous uncertainty in goal all season long, using four different starters while losing the services Josh Harding after he played at a Vezina-calibre level to start the year. Yeo also kept the team afloat as injuries sidelined Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund for a combined 51 games.

The Pioneer Press report did not sa7y anything about the future of Yeo’s staff, however. Assistants Rick Wilson, Darryl Sydor and Darby Hendrickson have been with Yeo throughout his three-year tenure and, following Tuesday’s loss to Chicago, Parise spoke highly of the entire staff.

“I think [all the coaches] did a good job,’’ Parise said, per the Star-Tribune. “We were prepared. We made adjustments when we needed to make adjustments, and we switched lines when we needed to.”

  1. vstar1us - May 15, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Good choice

  2. 950003cups - May 15, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    They’ll never learn.

    • wayoffpiste - May 15, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      never learn what? You have something better in mind? A coach that was effective and has total respect from the players? You want to start over with a new coach when the team is on the cusp of making a serious run at the cup?

    • gianesin - May 15, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      As a Hawks fan(who is still breathing a sigh of relief 2 days later) I have to disagree with your comment. I actually think that the opposite is true – they did learn. They learned that bringing back a coach that is trending the team in the right direction is the way to go further in today’s NHL. So, as a Hawks fan, I wish they wouldn’t have brought him back, but as a hockey fan, this is a great decision.

    • clarke16 - May 15, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      Teach us the way, Lord Jabroni…

    • c9castine - May 15, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      what should they be learning??

      im not sure how much better you can do with the age and skill level of that roster. very promising team. good skill…but most of them had no idea what it was like to be in that position save for zach parise, pominville, or bryzgalov.

  3. purplove1 - May 15, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    This is the right thing to do, it’s a maturation process as a whole, including the coach, and they showed promise. Good season.

  4. hockey412 - May 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Maybe Bylsma can be his assistant this time.

    • storminator16 - May 15, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      Surprised Yeo hasn’t been retained yet. Maybe he is waffling waiting on to see what happens in Pittsburgh.

      • lordfletcher - May 15, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        it’s been TWO days since elimination. That’s why.

        Yeo isn’t going anywhere.

      • storminator16 - May 15, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        We’ll see. It’s been “TWO days since elimination” but he is still the coach without a contract.

    • lordfletcher - May 15, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      it was just reported that Yeo has received every indication that he will be back next year and that he and Fletcher are meeting next week to talk extension.

      again, he isn’t going anywhere and you know little to nothing on the topic / Wild.

      • hockey412 - May 19, 2014 at 8:21 AM

        I can only assume you are talking to stormy – and I can only assume that you are assuming that he knows little to nothing on the Wild.

  5. hockeyornothing - May 15, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    That’s funny maybe not to Dan B but that’s funny!

  6. luvmnsports2012 - May 15, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Good choice! I think he can do great things for the Wild!! See you all next year, I have a tee time to book! Lol….GO WILD!!!!

  7. guitarisgood4u - May 15, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Behind Yeo, the only staff member I’m certain needs to return is goalie coach Bob Mason. The Wild finished 7th in the league during the regular season in team GAA, dressed 7 goalies, started 5, and relied on four for fairly large stretches of the season.

    I mean, who the hell thought Ilya Bryzgalov was going to be our guy to finish off the season? Let alone see him play as well as he did.

  8. purpleguy - May 15, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Good choice, he coached well in the playoffs. The summer golf will be better knowing our coach will be around and having had a chance to enjoy the playoffs for a change.

  9. oquintero99 - May 15, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Both dies? Come on Mike..from the PHT home page

    Sources claim both dies have “expressed interest in getting a deal done.”

    • strictlythedanks - May 15, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      Sources claim both dies have “expressed interest in getting a deal done.”

      was gonna say that as well, assuming Mike meant sides obviously.

  10. greej1938l - May 15, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    We’re giving the coaches a lot of credit for the goalies as we should… But give them some cred too Bryz has always had “a great goalie ” inside of him. It just hasn’t came out for a few years till

  11. endusersolutions2013 - May 15, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    I follow the Wild 2nd after the ‘Hawks. I think it was a good thing for several reasons focusing on the changes the last 2 seasons.

    Last year, they made to very expensive free agent acquisitions, but with the hyper-short training camp/pre-season due to the strike, there was not time to really integrate them. Adding Jason P later in the season was a good move and he would have helped in the playoffs, had not take-out artist Dustin Brown concussing him in an obvious head shot.

    The Wild stumbled into the playoffs, only making it on the basis of a tie breaker. Yeo had the Wild played very conservatively, his own style perhaps but lack of other good options as well. They were not competitive vs. the Hawks.

    This year, with a real training/pre-season, the Wild were playing better and Yeo progressively opened things up more. Still play very good “D”. Important point being he listened to and worked with his players. This year the Wild finished the regular season strong. And were very competitive vs the hawks, after beating the division top seed 1st.

  12. penvik - May 15, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    And the Wild make the same mistake as Pittsburgh did. Yeo is not a good coach,
    He proved that for years in Pitt, ran a PP with the worlds best and couldn’t make it work. He left and all of a sudden the PP got back to normal, Ha ha!. Until the rules were changed again in the playoffs that is

  13. hurricane6670 - May 15, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    No mistake. He grew with the team. You could see it happening before your eyes. Congrats to Yeo.

  14. blackhawksdynasty - May 15, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Good for Yeo, and good for the Wild. Much deserved.

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