Former Wild forward Wes Walz is stepping down from his job as the head hockey coach at East Ridge.
According to the Woodbury Bulletin, Walz has decided to step down so he can free up time to watch his kids play hockey next winter.
Walz retired in 2007 after 11 seasons in the NHL – seven of them were with the Wild. He played in 607 career games and tallied 260 career points (109 goals, 151 assists). He was an assistant coach for Tampa Bay from 2008 until 2010.
"I didn't really get much of a chance to be around them much when they were young playing hockey because I was playing myself," Walz told the newspaper. "I think I owe it to my two younger kids just to spend more time with them during the winter."
Walz took over the East Ridge boys' job in 2014, prior to that he coached the East Ridge girls' team for two seasons. In addition, he is also a studio analyst for FOX Sports North's Wild broadcasts.
"Coaching high school hockey takes up a ton of time," Walz told the Bulletin. "It's a huge commitment between the summer program, and a lot of video to be watched and practices. It's a lot of work, so I just kind of felt it was the right time."
East Ridge finished the 2016-17 season at 4-21-2. East Ridge Activities Director Joel Olson told the Bulletin the school plans to pursue candidates to replace Walz after next week's spring break.