With the Wild’s season coming to an end, the first thing on their to-do-list is to find a new head coach. After firing Mike Yeo midway through the season, Interim Coach John Torchetti, took over the club the rest of the way. Torchetti will be one of the many candidates the Wild will consider to fill the vacant spot. Don’t get me wrong I think Torch did a great job, but the Wild will want to keep him in Iowa. He is a great developmental coach, and I think Iowa is just the right spot for him.
Here are some names and profiles, on who I think, could be the Minnesota Wild’s new coach.
After Anaheim relieved Bruce Boudreau of his duties on Friday morning, he instantly became a likely candidate for the Wild’s Head Coaching spot. Boudreau, the North York, ON native, has been in NHL coach for 10 years. Of those 10 years, he has only missed the playoffs twice and has won eight division titles (the Wild have only one division title in franchise history). Boudreau was also the winner of the Jack Adam Award (Coach of the Year), in 2008, when he was behind the bench for the Washington Capitals. His experience of winning would be great for the Wild. He’s a veteran coach, with a .659 winning percentage. His down fall seems to come in the playoffs, where he has no Stanley Cup appearances and four out the eight years he his team has made first round exits. The Wild’s window of opportunity is closing and they need a coach that can take them deep into the playoffs.
Let’s keep the Anaheim tend going with the man that was in Anaheim before Boudreau took over, Randy Carlyle. Carlyle did raise the cup in 2007 with the Ducks but then failed to get out of the second round of the playoffs his next five year before being fired. His most recent coaching job was with the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he made the playoffs once in four years. Carlyle career winning percentage is .574 but has had struggles as of late as a head coach. As a player, he played over a 1,000 games in the NHL and was the winner of the Norris Trophy in 1981. He believes strongly in a defense first kind of game but also loves defensemen to get up into the play. I think the Wild have a few defensemen just like that he would love to get his hands on and coach them up.
20 years ago, man by the name of Marc Crawford coached the Colorado Avalanche to winning the Stanley Cup. Well, he hasn’t been back since. Crawford has 14 years of NHL coaching experience and has made the playoffs eight times. Other than Colorado, his three other coaching stops include, Vancouver (6 years), LA (2 years), and Dallas (2 years). He also became the youngest coach ever to win the Jack Adams Award in 1995. Crawford is very knowledgeable and experience head coach but down side is he hasn’t had success in awhile. He hasn’t coached in the NHL 2011 and hasn’t made the playoffs since 2004. He last served as head coach the ZSC lions in Switzerland.
Guy Boucher took the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2010, his first year ever coaching in the NHL. But that was his only trip to the playoffs in his three years in Tampa. Boucher is the youngest guy on this list at age 44 but does have some talent and a little bit of experience. The man will eventually find is way back in to the NHL but is now the time? The Wild have a lot of big name veterans that need to be tame and control. Could this be the “Guy?”
General Manger Chuck Fletcher has always been known to hire the next up-and-coming coaching candidate. Todd Richards and Mike Yeo were perfect examples of this. Well here is my wildcard candidate if Fletcher wants to continue with his routine. Phil Housley, who is currently an assistant coach for the Nashville Predators. Housley is a St. Paul, Minnesota native and is making his way up in the coaching ranks. He coached Team USA in the World Junior Championships in 2013, where they won gold. He was once a 6th overall draft-pick in the NHL and has the second most points by an American-born player. Housley has no experience at all as head coach at the NHL level but could one day be a great. Is it too early to take chance on Housely?
Who is your pick for the Wild’s next head coach?