The Iowa Wild got a call up that was less than ordinary when their Head Coach John Torchetti was "called up" to take over the reigns for the Minnesota Wild after former Head Coach Mike Yeo was dismissed on Saturday. This left the baby Wild without a bench boss, and less than 24 hours to fill the position before their next game on Valentines Day. The scramble was on to fill the position, and Iowa didn't waste much time or energy in filling that spot.
David Cunniff was named interim Head Coach of the Iowa Wild almost immediately after Torch got the call up to the big club. Cunniff is a 13 year coaching veteran in the AHL and is 45 years of age. Last season he helped the Albany Devils to a 37-28-5-6 record, missing the Calder Cup playoffs in the AHL by just 2 points. In August of 2015 he was hired on to the Iowa Wild organization as an associate coach.
Cunniff began his coaching career in the 2002-03 season with the Cleveland Barons of the AHL as an Assistant Coach. He would stay there through the teams relocation in 2006 when they became the Worchester Sharks. Before the 2014-15 season he was promoted to the Associate Coach position with the Sharks AHL affiliate in Worchester. That would be his last season with the club before his move to Albany.
Prior to his coaching career, Cunniff played professionally in the AHL and ECHL as well. His career garnered him 268 games between the 2 leagues where he notched 38 goals and 44 assists, with 555 penalty minutes playing forward. He was never drafted, but was picked up by the Devils organization, although he never got a sniff of NHL action.
Cunniff was an in-house move and isn't surprising given the circumstance. I wouldn't expect he would bring anything new to an Iowa Wild team that has struggled much of the season. His experience is a big plus for the team though, and their familiarity with him and his personality certainly won't hurt either.