ST. PAUL — Minnesota Wild coach Bruce Boudreau, who was coaching in the final year of his contract, has been fired by general manager Bill Guerin.
The team announced the news Friday morning, about 12 hours after the Wild’s 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Rangers at Xcel Energy Center.
A source confirmed to the Pioneer Press that assistant coach Dean Evason will replace Boudreau on an interim basis.
“I would like to thank Bruce for his hard work and commitment to the Minnesota Wild during his tenure with the organization and wish him and his family the best in the future,” Guerin said in a release.
In parts of three seasons in the Twin Cities, Boudreau went 158-110-35 (.579), leading the Wild to playoffs twice. For his career, Boudreau is 567-302-115 (.634), also spending time with the Washington Capitals and the Anaheim Ducks.
At least on the surface, the timing of the move is somewhat confusing considering the Wild have been playing much better as of late. They are 4-1-1 over the last couple of weeks, and as of Friday morning, were only three points out of a possible playoff berth in the Western Conference.
That said, after trading fan favorite Jason Zucker earlier this week, Guerin seems to be sending another message by firing Boudreau so abruptly.
Meanwhile, Evason will be manning an NHL bench for the first time in his career. He was hired as an assistant coach last season by former general manager Paul Fenton.
Before joining the Wild, he was the coach of the Milwaukee Admirals in the American Hockey League (AHL), leading the team to a record of 242-161-53 (.588).