ST. PAUL, Minn. - Just ahead of the annual Winter Classic this weekend, the Minnesota Wild has announced a noteworthy new contract extension.
Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin announced that head coach Dean Evason and the entire coaching staff, including assistant coaches Darby Hendrickson, Brett McLean and Bob Woods, have be re-signed to multiyear contract extensions.
"It’s important to me personally as a head coach that all our staff has a voice… I know we’re as good as any staff in the league," said Evason at the official announcement press conference held after practice for the upcoming Winter Classic at Target Field on Saturday, Dec. 31.
Evason was named the full-time head coach for the Wild in July 2020 after previously being named interim head coach on Feb. 14, 2020. He has since led the team to a 62-29-7 record in 98 games. During that stretch, Minnesota has registered four winning streaks of five games or more.
"You try to do things right going through this process and learning at every stage. We want our group to be team-first and trust their teammates," said Evason. "Communication goes a long way. As ex-players that’s very important to us, and that’s how we conduct ourselves."
Prior to joining the Wild, Evason spent six seasons (2012-18) as head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals in the American Hockey League (AHL). As a player he also totaled 372 points and 1,002 penalty minutes in 803 career NHL games during 13 seasons (1983-96) playing center with the Capitals, Hartford Whalers, San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames.
"Regardless if you have a three- or one-year contract you don’t conduct yourself any differently," said Evason, who also has three children. "Success is the Stanley Cup. We’ve had a couple little steps along the way, but not that success yet. That’s the goal, and if not what are we doing here?"
Additionally, Evason was informed by reporters at the announcement that medical staff had cleared defenseman Jonas Brodin to return to action this weekend. "We had to conduct ourselves like he would not be here, but if he is it will be a huge bonus," he said.