Jun 6, 2014, 3:41 PM EST
The Minnesota Wild held a press conference today to formally announce that they’ve inked head coach Mike Yeo to a multi-year contract extension. Even after three seasons with the team, Yeo remains the youngest head coach in the league at the age of 40, but the Wild are very happy with the direction he’s taking them in.
“We’ve started to create an identity of being a hard working, fast and resilient team,” Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said. “That has been very critical to our success, in establishing that identity.
“We’ve also become a team that’s won a lot of hockey games and we’ve done so while playing a lot of young kids — all of whom have developed nicely under Mike and his staff’s direction. We couldn’t be happier.”
Under Yeo, the Wild have posted a 104-82-26 regular season record and have made the playoffs in two of his three campaigns. They advanced to the second round of the postseason in 2014 despite losing starting goaltender Josh Harding and backup Niklas Backstrom for a good chunk of the season. Even third-string goaltender Darcy Kuemper dealt with injury problems during the playoffs.
Fletcher used that situation as an example of how Yeo has been able to handle distractions.
“I’ll never forget Zach (Parise), someone asked him about the goaltending in the playoffs, I think Zach’s quote was ‘we don’t even notice it anymore,’” Fletcher said. “I think that speaks to Mike and how he handled everything, from the losing streak in late December to a little bit of some up and down play in March, to the injuries, to losing Mikko and Zach at the same time, to the goaltending.
“Once we got into the playoffs, that Colorado series was a roller coaster and I think the team took on Mike’s demeanor. I think that helped up get through.”
Now that the Wild have won their first playoff series since 2003, the stakes are only going to be raised in Minnesota. Forwards Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, and defenseman Ryan Suter are all in their prime, which means that the Wild have to establish themselves as serious contenders for the Stanley Cup soon if they want to take advantage of those players while they’re still at their best.
You can watch the full press conference below:
- Brodeur announces retirement, leaves ‘the game with a big smile on my face’ 1
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks’ ‘dog fight’ continues vs. red hot Ducks 2
- NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Canadiens seek edge as divisional battles intensify 0
- Struggling Kings complete the comeback against Blackhawks 11
- Video: Tempers boil over between Capitals, Penguins 43
- Isles’ Clutterbuck latest to be fined for diving 19
- No hearing scheduled for Kesler after ‘dirty play’ on Dorsett 23
- Why NHL fans — no matter where they live — should care about the plunging Canadian dollar 32
- Trade: Pens acquire Lapierre from Blues for Goc 63
- Video: Habs’ Emelin ejected for hit on Stars’ Spezza 31