Greetings from San Jose. Here's a sneak peek at tomorrow's Joel Ward feature. Some really neat stuff in there, including details as to why he left the Wild.
Former Wild coach Mike Yeo, who was a finalist for the Ottawa Senators job and is believed to have interviewed for the coaching vacancies in Anaheim and Calgary, is currently in St. Louis meeting with the Blues brass.
Why is he there when Ken Hitchcock is gainfully employed and a season away from passing Al Arbour for the third-most coaching victories in NHL history?
Because Hitchcock this past week agreed to only a one-year extension and says this upcoming season will be his final year behind the Blues' bench.
Associate coach Brad Shaw and assistant coach Kirk Muller stepped down this week reportedly because they wouldn't accept one-year terms. Muller was originally hired with the thinking that some day he'd replace Hitchcock.
This means the Blues are currently looking for two assistant coaches, one of whom GM Doug Armstrong hopes can be molded into Hitchcock's successor.
Yeo is believed to be a contender for that so-called "Coach in Waiting" position.
There were a couple Twitter sightings today that Yeo was having lunch with Armstrong and fellow Blues brass and former hockey playing legends Al MacInnis and Martin Brodeur.
Yeo, 42, was 173-132-44 in parts of five seasons with the Wild and guided the franchise to three consecutive postseasons, including the conference semifinals twice. He was the league’s fifth-most tenured coach before being fired in February.
Yeo has one more year left on his contract with the Wild believed to be a hair above $1 million.
As for the Blues' second assistant, it wouldn't be shocking if the Blues contacted both of Yeo's former assistant coaches, Rick Wilson and Darryl Sydor. Wilson was a longtime assistant alongside Hitchcock in Dallas, and Sydor was one of Hitchcock's top defenseman in Dallas, where Sydor won one of his two Stanley Cups as a player.
As for the Wild assistants, I'm told that things are starting to take shape a bit, but everything below is speculation (I'll update if I confirm anything else tonight).
Bruce Boudreau has talked with his longtime right-hand man, Bob Woods, but it's unclear if he's wanting to leave Saskatoon, where's he's GM and coach of the Western Hockey League team.
I also wrote a few weeks ago that it wouldn't be shocking if Boudreau showed interest in his close friend John Anderson. Well, today, Anderson and the Chicago Wolves mutually parted ways. So perhaps that's related to Minnesota.
Also, as Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman wrote yesterday, Boudreau is very tight with Hershey Bears coach Troy Mann. The Bears are currently in the Calder Cup Finals. Remember, Boudreau joked to me a few weeks ago that he kept texting Mann that they needed to lose already so he could move back into his offseason home, which is being rented I believe by goalie Dan Ellis.
Also, I'll be on KFAN Friday morning at 10:55.