Possible solution

As the Wild season nears an end, it’s likely there will be a coaching search regardless of whether John Torchetti ends up a top contender. A veteran coach who became available last week is Marc Crawford, who left his job in Switzerland. Crawford, 55, has coached Quebec/Colorado, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Dallas and would be interested in the Wild gig. Crawford coached the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup in 1996 and has coached 1,151 regular-season games.

“I want with all my heart to be back in the NHL,” Crawford told me Friday.

Nearly forgotten

Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin, the No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft, has a lot of reputation repairing to do after his ill-advised walkout on the Syracuse Crunch after agent Allan Walsh went public with his trade demand.

Drouin didn’t play hockey for six weeks, yet he expected to be dealt like there was any chance a playoff contender could afford to give up something substantial for him.

Drouin has returned to Syracuse because he “missed hockey.”

As Crunch captain Mike Angelidis told TSN’s Mark Masters, “He’s going to have to earn his respect from guys. ”

Worthy of votes

There are many Coach of the Year candidates this season, but one has got to be St. Louis’ Ken Hitchcock. One year after many thought he’d be out as Blues coach, Hitch has the Blues one point from the Central Division lead despite 300 man games lost to injury.