Ken Hitchcock, in his final year as head coach with St. Louis, plans to hand over the reins to Mike Yeo next season.
“It has nothing to do with the in-season stuff,” Hitchcock said. “It’s about the offseason and whether I feel I can put in the work to get better. If you’re in this business and you’re unsure, you have an obligation to let the people know how you feel.
“We all have to be unselfish. For me, if I have any question at all, even 1 percent, you can’t hide from it. So there was a little bit of a question mark and there continues to be, so when I said I’m not sure how much longer I can do this, we knew we should get a good, young guy in place.”
Devin Setoguchi, traded by the Wild to Winnipeg in 2013, is making an NHL comeback after alcohol abuse. He signed a two-way deal with the Los Angeles Kings, who face the Wild on Tuesday, after playing last season in Switzerland.
Setoguchi told lakingsinsider.com, “It’s still, for me, an every-day evaluation on my attitude, my work ethic, my play, my ability, so I’m just thankful to be here, but at the same time I know how important and how critical it is for me to push myself every day in order to get back.”
The list of long-term injuries to key players is already extensive: It includes L.A.’s Jonathan Quick and Marian Gaborik, Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad, Buffalo’s Jack Eichel and St. Louis’ Jaden Schwartz.