Yeo picks his assistants

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 30, 2011 - 11:44 PM
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New Wild coach Mike Yeo

Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune file

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The Wild's coaching staff is looking like the Young Boys Network.

Mike Yeo, 37, filled most the rest of his coaching staff Thursday when he named Darryl Sydor, 39, and Darby Hendrickson, 38, assistant coaches.

Sydor coached with Yeo last season in Houston, while Hendrickson was retained from former coach Todd Richards' staff. Veteran assistant Rick Wilson and longtime goalie coach Bob Mason were previously retained.

"It's the sign of the times," Sydor, one year removed from an 18-year career, said of young staffs. "You see this happening around the league. The biggest thing I liked when I played was communication. Being in those players' shoes and relating to them now from the other side, communication is a big thing."

Yeo said Sydor, who won two Stanley Cups as a player, brings "instant credibility" and will mesh perfectly with Wilson, Hendrickson and Mason.

In fact, Wilson coached Sydor when he was a defenseman with the Dallas Stars and a lot of what Sydor learned about defense came from Wilson.

"It helped me for sure because what I want to build from the staff is a consistent message, and Wils has proven over his long career that he knows what he's talking about," Yeo said.

Wilson and Sydor will be on the bench with Yeo, with Wilson changing the defensemen and Yeo the forwards. Hendrickson will serve as the eye in the sky.

Yeo still must hire a video coach, while strength coach Chris Pietrzak-Wegner has been retained at least through the July 11-17 development camp.

The Wild will be looking for a backup goalie in free agency. Its preference is to re-sign Jose Theodore, who first wants to look for a No. 1 job.

"We've left it open-ended, but things happen quickly in free agency, so we'll see," Fletcher said.

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