Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Darryl Sydor named Wild assistant coach

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild coaching, Wild off-season news Updated: June 30, 2011 - 1:24 PM

The Wild has brought Darryl Sydor along for the ride from Houston.

Mike Yeo's assistant last year with the Aeros was hired Thursday to replace Dave Barr, who was dismissed with Todd Richards in April. 

Assistant coach Darby Hendrickson was also retained, as well as Rick Wilson, who used to coach Sydor in Dallas, and goalie coach Bob Mason.

GM Chuck Fletcher announced earlier this month that Wilson and Mason would be back.

The Wild has not yet hired a video coach, and it is still to be determined whether strength coach Chris Pietrzak-Wegner is retained. His contract ends today, but I believe he's been extended to work the development camp July 11-17.

After the 2009-10 season, Sydor, 39, retired after 18 seasons in the NHL playing for Los Angeles, Dallas, Columbus, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. The longtime, well-respected defenseman won Stanley Cups with the Stars and the Lightning. He was actually coached by Yeo in Pittsburgh, and Aeros players, especially their defensemen, raved about him last season during Houston's run to the Calder Cup Finals.

Wilson and Sydor were both defensemen, so we'll see how the bench works. But Fletcher said that wouldn't be a big issue a few weeks ago when asked if he and Yeo would be looking for a former forward as an assistant. In fact, several teams have two defensemen on their bench as assistants, and I'm fairly sure, former forward Mario Tremblay used to change the Wild's defense -- not former defenseman Mike Ramsey.


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