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Minnesota Wild name John Hynes new head coach after firing Dean Evason, assistant Bob Woods

Extended: Minnesota Wild introduce new head coach John Hynes
Extended: Minnesota Wild introduce new head coach John Hynes 07:02

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Wild head coach Dean Evason and assistant Bob Woods have been fired, the team announced Monday afternoon amidst a seven-game skid.

John Hynes will take over as Evason's replacement. Hynes most recently served as the head coach for the Nashville Predators, where, under his direction, the Predators qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs three consecutive seasons.

"John's just a guy I believe in," general manager Bill Guerin said. "He's extremely professional, detailed, passionate about coaching this game."

"I'm excited to coach this group," Hynes said. "I think when you look at the dynamic of the team, there's skill, there's size, there's speed, there's good goaltending. I think it's a group that you can win with."

Evason, 59, had three full seasons in charge of the Wild, who gave him his first head coaching job in the NHL on Feb. 14, 2020, when Bruce Boudreau was fired and he was promoted from his assistant role. He went 147-77-27 in 251 regular season games and 8-15 in the postseason without winning any series.

"I think it had just gotten to that point where almost no matter what they did the guys were having a hard time executing and generating offense," Guerin said. "Something had to change. You can't trade 23 players."

During the pandemic break, Guerin decided to drop the interim tag and give Evason the job once the Wild resumed practice. They lost a best-of-five series to Vancouver in the qualifying round that year, then dropped best-of-seven first round matchups with Vegas in 2021, St. Louis in 2022 and Dallas in 2023.

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"Dean did an excellent job during his tenure with the Minnesota Wild, especially as Head Coach of our team," said Guerin. "I am very thankful for his hard work and dedication to our organization."

Evason is already the second NHL coach fired this season after the Edmonton Oilers dismissed Jay Woodcroft and replaced him with Kris Knoblauch. The Oilers have won four of seven since.

Hynes is 284-255-63 in eight NHL seasons. The Predators fired him on May 30, six weeks after missing the playoffs. They lost in the opening round in each of three previous years, starting in 2020 when he was hired midseason to replace the fired Peter Laviolette.

"It's really just pinpointing simple things," Hynes said about taking over a team during the season. "You're not going to come in midseason and make wholesale changes. But I think you want to work on identity, you want to work on the mindset of the team. And I think you come in and make some slight tweaks."

The Wild host the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

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