Mike Yeo's late-season success taking the Minnesota Wild to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, has ensured him several more years as the team's head coach.
The team's general manager Chuck Fletcher announced Saturday the club has agreed to a multi-year contract extension with Yeo, who just finished his third season as coach. The team did not release the terms of the contract, including the length of the extension or how much Yeo will earn.
“Mike has done a very good job the last three seasons as our Head Coach and we look forward to his leadership going forward,” said Fletcher in a statement released by the team.
”I am very excited to continue to coach the Minnesota Wild and pursue a Stanley Cup for the State of Hockey,” said Yeo, in the statement. “Our fan support has been amazing and it went to a new level during the playoffs this season. We are all motivated to reward them.”
In mid-season it looked more likely that Yeo would be fired; the team was in a slump and at the end of December had lost six straight games in regulation. Tom Powers writes in the St. Paul Pioneer Press that had the Wild lost to the Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 2, Yeo would probably have been fired then. But Minnesota won the game and started performing better down the stretch.
The Wild won two must-win games in late March to reach the playoffs, which Yeo describes as the turning point in the season, according to Powers.
They defeated the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the playoffs four games to three, before losing in the second round to the Chicago Blackhawks, four games to two. It's the first time in franchise history that the team advanced to the second round of the playoffs. The Wild's overall record was 43-27-12 this season.
The Star Tribune reports that Yeo, Fletcher and other team officials plan a news conference on Thursday.