Mike Yeo has agreed to a three-year contract extension to continue coaching the Wild. His contract was set to expire June 30.
“Very well-deserved,” first-line left wing Zach Parise, who led the Wild in playoff scoring, said during a phone interview. “I think he did a really good job – [the entire coaching staff] all did a really good job – down the stretch for us, especially in the playoffs. I mean, we were really prepared. We knew exactly what to expect. We exploited weaknesses. It’s a big chess game, the playoffs. I think they did a really good job making adjustments on the fly. It was real impressive.”
You can hear more from Parise in Sunday's paper. Here's a preview.
Here is the link to my story in Saturday's paper.
"I am very excited to continue to coach the Minnesota Wild and pursue a Stanley Cup for the State of Hockey,” Yeo said in a press release. “Our fan support has been amazing and it went to a new level during the playoffs this season. We are all motivated to reward them.”
“Mike has done a very good job the last three seasons as our Head Coach and we look forward to his leadership going forward,” said GM Chuck Fletcher in the press release.
The Wild will hold a news conference Thursday because Yeo, Fletcher, assistant GM Brent Flahr and a few Wild executives traveled to Exuma, Bahamas, to conduct budgetary meetings at owner Craig Leipold's home.
This is the precursor to organizational meetings that will occur June 9. That’s when the coaches, front office personnel and pro scouts meet to evaluate the past season and prepare for the next season. There, the Wild will discuss which of its unrestricted free agents it should try to re-sign (I still believe defenseman Clayton Stoner and forward Cody McCormick are the likeliest), which unrestricted free agents it is interested in pursuing, which players on the trade market it may be interested in pursuing and which of its players it should dangle on the trade market.
Yeo coached the Wild to the postseason in two of three years. He is 104-82-26 (.552 points percentage) in three years. The Wild ranks 10th in the NHL in wins since the start of the 2012-13 season and is one of 11 teams to advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs the last two seasons.
In other news, if the Wild doesn’t sign 2012 fifth-round pick Daniel Gunnarsson by Sunday, the Wild loses the big defenseman's rights and he can reenter the NHL draft. He has already re-signed to play Farjestads the next two seasons, so even if he signs, he will likely remain there. The Wild hasn't talked with his reps since Friday. In the old days, teams would own the rights for all European draft picks for 10 years. Not anymore. It’s two just like North American non-collegiates. Of the 2012 draft picks, Matt Dumba and Raphael Bussieres are signed, John Draeger (Michigan State), Adam Gilmour (Boston College) and Louis Nanne (RPI) are in college and Christoph Bertschy is considered a defected player (there’s no Swiss/NHL agreement right now, so like Russia, teams keep their rights beyond the normal two years).