It's early on in the Wild's coaching search, but staff writer Michael Russo takes a look at some potential candidates to become the third coach in franchise history:
Here are coaches who have run NHL benches in the past:
1. Ken Hitchcock (Dallas, Philadelphia, Columbus): Won a Cup in '99, hard-nosed Hitch's teams play structured, defensively-sound and fast hockey.
2. Craig MacTavish (Edmonton): Tremendous defensive player in his day, the well-spoken TSN analyst coached the Oilers to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006.
3. Craig Hartsburg (Chicago, Anaheim, Ottawa): Former North Stars defenseman has a history with some in the Wild front office.
4. Andy Murray (Los Angeles, St. Louis): The former Shattuck-St. Mary's coach and North Stars assistant is entrenched in Minnesota hockey and works tirelessly.
5. Michel Therrien (Montreal, Pittsburgh): A Jacques Lemaire disciple, this fiery coach doesn't seem the right fit, but he has been scouting for the Wild.
Other possibilities: Los Angeles assistant coach John Stevens (Philadelphia); Atlanta associate coach John Torchetti (Florida, Los Angeles); Pete DeBoer (Florida); Guy Carbonneau (Montreal); Bob Hartley (Colorado, Atlanta).
* parentheses constitutes former teams
Here are experienced coaches with no NHL head coaching experience:
1. Mike Haviland, right: The Blackhawks assistant is said to be ready for a head job, and he'd be a hit with Martin Havlat.
2. Mike Yeo: Very young, but the Houston coach impressed in his first year, leading the Aeros to a second seed in the AHL's Western Conference.
3. Paul MacLean: The longtime Red Wings assistant has a strong pedigree behind the bench.
4. Kirk Muller, right: A terrific former NHL center and current Canadiens assistant, he might get his first shot somewhere this summer.
5. Rick Wilson: Has been an assistant forever; he helped tighten up the Wild's defense before the wheels fell off in March.
LONG SHOTS AND NO SHOTS
« « 1. Jacques Lemaire: Ain't happening, but maybe Chuck Fletcher should call and say, "We were wrong. We don't need to be up-tempo. We just need to win."
2. Dave Tippett: Pray the Coyotes move back to Winnipeg and reports are true the Minnesota resident has an "out" in his contract.
3/4. Todd McLellan and Bruce Boudreau: Hope that San Jose and/or Washington is bounced in the first round and one or the other is canned.
5. Ted Nolan: Ugh!!!