Wild Fire HC Dean Evason Replaced by John Hynes

The Minnesota Wild have dismissed head coach Dean Evason and assistant coach Bob Woods, and will replace Evason with former Devils and Predators coach John Hynes, following a poor start to the season despite a strong performance in the previous campaign.

‣ The Minnesota Wild have fired head coach Dean Evason and assistant coach Bob Woods, and will be replacing Evason with former Devils and Predators coach John Hynes.
‣ Despite leading the Wild to their best season in franchise history in 2021-22, Evason was let go after a poor start to the current season, with the team currently sitting bottom five in the league in both goals for and against.
‣ The team hopes that Hynes can restore confidence in the group and improve their league-worst penalty kill. The Wild will be responsible for the remainder of Evason’s contract, which runs through 2024-25 at just under $2M per season.

The Minnesota Wild have announced a major shake-up. Head coach Dean Evason and assistant coach Bob Woods have been let go, effective immediately. The news was confirmed in a statement on Monday evening.

The Athletic’s Michael Russo has reported that John Hynes is set to take over. Hynes has previously served as head coach for the Devils and Predators. Wild GM Bill Guerin expressed his gratitude towards Evason and Woods, acknowledging their dedication and hard work.

Evason has been with the Wild since 2018, initially as an assistant. Woods joined the team a year earlier. Evason, 59, began his coaching career in 1998-99 with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen. He later moved on to coach NHL superstar Alex Ovechkin during his first seven seasons.

After leaving Washington in 2012, Evason worked with the Predators’ AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals. He helped guide several future NHL stars. He was promoted to head coach of the Wild in the 2019-20 season.

Under Evason’s leadership, the Wild had their best season in franchise history. The 2021-22 campaign saw them win over 50 games for the first time. However, they were unable to secure a playoff series victory. The team’s performance this season has been disappointing, with a 5-10-4 record.

Injuries and goaltending issues have contributed to their poor performance. Captain Jared Spurgeon missed the first 13 games of the season. The team’s goaltenders, Filip Gustavsson and Marc-André Fleury, have struggled.

Despite controlling a majority of scoring chances, the Wild have been unlucky. The team’s culture is reportedly souring. Star player Kirill Kaprizov is on pace for a career-low 26 goals. The team’s depth defensemen have been liabilities.

Woods, who previously worked with Evason on the Capitals’ bench, is now on the open market. It’s unclear who will fill his position. Hynes, who was let go by the Predators last season, is now tasked with turning the Wild’s fortune around.

Hynes will be paid by both the Wild and the Predators this season. He faces a tough challenge to get the Wild back into the playoff picture. The team will likely improve once Fleury and Gustavsson regain their form.

Hynes’ main task is to restore confidence in the team. The roster has the potential to play better. The team also hopes to improve their penalty kill, which is currently the worst in the league.

The Wild will continue to pay Evason, whose contract runs through 2024-25. His annual salary is just under $2M.

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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