Wild coach Dean Evason is off to the best start of any coach in franchise history. Thus, it felt like only a matter of time before the 57-year-old coach earned a contract extension.
On Thursday morning, it became official as the Wild announced that Evason and the rest of his coaching staff have signed a multi-year extension that will keep them around the Twin Cities for the foreseeable future.
After taking over for former coach Bruce Boudreau on Feb. 14, 2020, Evason shed the interim label on July 13, 2020. He’s led the Wild to a 62-29-7 record in 98 games behind the bench, and more importantly, has helped change the culture in the Twin Cities.
There’s a noticeable sense of accountability that permeates about the Wild locker room nowadays and Evason is very much the reason behind that. He doesn’t treat any player differently regardless of if they have 1,000 games under their belt or 10 games under their belt.
His vision really started to take shape last season as the Wild finished with a 35-16-5 record amid a condensed 56-game schedule. That was good for the highest point percentage (.670) through 56 games in franchise history and it rightfully made Evason a finalist for the 2021 Jack Adams Award, which is given annually to the NHL’s best coach.
That success has continued this season as the Wild boast a 19-9-2 record through 30 games. They are trail the rival St. Louis Blues by a point for the lead of the Central Division.
In addition to Evason, the Wild also gave multi-year contract extensions to assistant coaches Darby Hendrickson, Brett McLean, and Bob Woods, goaltending coach Freddy Chabot, and video coaches T.J. Jindra and Jonas Plumb.