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Minnesota Names Mike Yeo as Head Coach

SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today named Mike Yeo (pronounced YO) as the team’s new Head Coach. He has a proven track record as a coach in the American Hockey League (AHL) and the National Hockey League (NHL) advancing to the finals five times in his 11-year coaching career.

“Mike possesses a great passion for coaching and is a strong communicator,” said Fletcher. “He has been a winner at every level throughout his extensive coaching career.”

Yeo, 37 (7/31/73), helped lead the Wild’s primary affiliate, the Houston Aeros, to a 46-28-1-5 record and the Calder Cup Final in his first season as a Head Coach in 2010-11. The Aeros led the Western Conference and ranked third in the AHL with 46 regular season wins. Houston did not qualify for the playoffs in 2010. He becomes the youngest coach in the NHL and the third Head Coach in Wild history.

Prior to being named the Aeros Head Coach, Yeo served as an Assistant Coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins (2005-10). During his tenure in Pittsburgh, the Penguins claimed the 2007-08 Atlantic Division title, advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals twice and won the 2009 Stanley Cup championship. He joined the Penguins coaching staff when Michel Therrien was named Head Coach on Dec. 15, 2005. During his first full season in 2006-07, Yeo helped the Penguins to a 47-point improvement from the previous season, the fourth-largest turnaround from one season to the next in NHL history. In his second season, he helped lead the Penguins to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since the 1992 season. Yeo remained on staff in Pittsburgh during the 2008-09 season after Dan Bylsma replaced Therrien on Feb. 15, 2009, and the Penguins went on to win the Stanley Cup.

He began his coaching career as an Assistant Coach with the Penguins’ top minor-league affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (2000-05). Yeo helped the Penguins earn a Western Conference title (2001), an Eastern Conference title (2005) and two appearances in the Calder Cup Final (2001, 2004). In 2005, Wilkes-Barre set an AHL record for the best start to a season by boasting a 21-1-2-1 record with 15 straight road wins before Yeo was promoted to Pittsburgh.

The left wing played five seasons with the Aeros (1994-99) and accumulated 127 points (55-72=127) and 511 penalty minutes (PIM) in 317 games. The native of North Bay, Ontario, served as captain of Houston’s 1999 Turner Cup Championship team. He played 19 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 1999-2000 before suffering a career-ending knee injury.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+yeo

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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