Mike Yeo is officially the coach in waiting in St. Louis.
NHL hires don't normally happen like this, but the Blues announced Monday that Yeo will take over the team as head coach after the 2016-17 season, which will be the last for current head coach Ken Hitchcock. Yeo will serve as the associated coach under Hitchcock next season.
"We’re excited to have Mike Yeo join us an an associate coach for next season and to become the next head coach for the St. Louis Blues for three years after that,” Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement. "For being 42 years old, he’s got a lot of experience. He’s won a Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh, he’s taken an American League team to the finals and you saw the good job he did in Minnesota in taking that team to the second round. What excites me is his experience, but with his age, he can really relate to today’s players and it’s an exciting day for our team."
Yeo said: "I want to win Stanley Cups, and I believe that we've got a group that should go into every season with that mentality. I'm really excited about that."
Yeo led the Wild to a first-round playoff victory over Hitchcock and the Blues two years ago.
Former Wild assistant coach Rick Wilson is following Yeo to St. Louis and he'll serve as an assistant next season as well.