It took less than two weeks after Bruce Boudreau was announced as the fourth head coach in Wild franchise history to see changes being made. As reported by Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, the Minnesota Wild parted ways with two longtime assistant coaches, reassigned one, and kept two as the Bruce Boudreau-era has officially begun at 317 Washington Street, the location of the Wild's offices.
Rick Wilson, originally hired by Todd Richards, and Darryl Sydor, someone who Mike Yeo had worked with in the minors before taking the job in Minnesota were officially given their walking papers. Both coaches managed the defesemen and defensive side of things. Wilson replaced other longtime assistant coach and notable #oneofus Mike Ramsey after the team moved on from Jacques Lemaire. The defensemen under Todd Richards were a mess until Wilson came along and helped stabilize the low-quality talent on the blue line outside of Brent Burns and defensive stalwart Nick Schultz. Both Sydor and Wilson have tag teamed the development of the current crop of young defensemen into one of the deeper and more talented D corps in the league.
Andrew Brunette, a fan favorite in his playing days, was hired after he retired from in 2012 as an assistant to the GM. Brunette was eventually brought on to the team of assistants that Mike Yeo had behind him. Assigned to improve the power play, he was quickly soured on by fans, who got tired of the stagnant, and sometimes lifeless power play. Under his watch, the power play never got over 18.5 percent for a season and was was ranked at its highest at 12th in the league in the last four seasons. Brunette will now move back into the front office and will not be in the same position with Boudreau in charge.
Darby Hendrickson will maintain his status as an assistant coach, who usually watches things from the press box and relays information down to the bench. Goalie coach Bob Mason will be kept on in the same role as well. It's interesting that there was any hold-overs as any new coach should be allowed to make any and all necessary changes to his staff. While Mason and Hendrickson are definitely capable of performing the jobs well at a high level, I was much more into completely cleaning house. This would allow for a much cleaner divorce from the Mike Yeo era, but there's something to be said for having people in place to ease the transition and knowing the locker room.
We don't yet know who Boudreau will choose for his Minnesota Wild staff, but it's clear that there will be new faces behind the bench as his staff is starting to come into focus.