NHL

Minnesota Wild fire head coach Bruce Boudreau

The Minnesota Wild announced Friday that Bruce Boudreau has been relieved of his duties as head coach. Minnesota currently sits three points back of the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

NHL club currently 3 points back of Coyotes for 2nd wild-card spot

Bruce Boudreau, seen above earlier this month, was relieved of his head coaching duties by the Minnesota Wild on Friday. (Hannah Foslien/The Associated Press)

The Minnesota Wild announced on Friday that Bruce Boudreau has been relieved of his duties as head coach.

Minnesota (27-23-7) currently sits three points back of the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Despite a record of 6-3-1 over the last 10 games, the moves comes after the Wild squandered a two-goal lead and fell 4-3 to the New York Rangers in a shootout on Thursday night. 

Assistant Dean Evason has been named as interim head coach. 

Minnesota's next game is at home on Saturday against the San Jose Sharks.

Coaching carousel

Boudreau becomes the eighth NHL coach to be fired this season. 

"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," Wild general manager Bill Guerin said.

Boudreau, who was hired in May 2016, posted a 158-110-35 record in 303 games over three-plus seasons with the Wild. He guided the club to a playoff berth in his first two seasons.

Boudreau, 65, has a 567-302-115 (.635) mark as head coach of the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and Wild and ranks 22nd all-time for coaching wins. He had been hired by Chuck Fletcher in Minnesota, who has since been fired and joined Philadelphia as its GM.

"It's not just one loss. It's not one week. It's a series of things," Guerin said at a news conference in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Playoff push

Evason is in his second season with Minnesota after being named an assistant coach on June 6, 2018. He joined the Wild after spending six seasons (2012-18) as head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals in the American Hockey League, leading the team to a record of 242-161-53 (.588).

"This is all a matter of just winning games down the stretch," Guerin said. "I expect this team to compete for a playoff spot."

Guerin said the front office will conduct a search for a full-time coach once this season is over. For now, it's Evason's team.

"Dean has his own thoughts and beliefs and what he believes is going to give us success," Guerin said. "I have full confidence in him. The one thing I really do like about Dean is his passion, his fire for the game. I am hoping that that translates to the players."

With files from Field Level Media and The Associated Press

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