Craig MacTavish might be the next coach of the Wild, but team general manager Chuck Fletcher has been so effective in keeping the search quiet someone else could be named to replace Todd Richards. MacTavish seems like the name most speculated about but Fletcher has kept a low profile during the search and conducted part of it outside Minnesota.
MacTavish, who coached Edmonton from 2000-2009, is known as a disciplined coach, a characteristic included on Fletcher’s job description for the position. However, he’s not known as a tyrant and would be expected to build morale with the Wild.
“He has a reputation as a player’s coach,” a hockey source told Sports Headliners. “He could help attract free agents.”
The source, who asked not to be identified, expects MacTavish would use an “up tempo offense, although not high octane.” The Wild would offer more offense than under Richards and certainly more emphasis on scoring than when Jacques Lemaire coached here.
Mike Yeo, head coach of the Wild’s affiliate team in Houston, will likely receive an interview by next Sunday, or sooner. The Aeros finished their AHL Calder Cup finals series last night losing four games to two against Binghamton. Yeo is highly regarded but his lack of NHL coaching experience works against him.
Fletcher is on the spot with this hire. He’s been the general manager since May of 2009 and hired Richards. If Fletcher remains the hockey boss of the franchise for years to come this still could be the most important decision he will make here.
The expectation has been Fletcher will name the coach prior to the June 24-25 NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul, but if the general manager isn’t satisfied with the search the announcement could push beyond that date.