Mike Yeo fired by skidding Minnesota Wild

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Minnesota Wild have fired coach Mike Yeo and named John Torchetti the interim replacement.

Yeo, in his fifth season behind the bench, had a 173-132-44 record in his time with the Wild. Minnesota made the playoffs the past three seasons after failing to qualify in the coach's first season.Yeo was 11-17 in the playoffs, taking the team to the Western Conference semifinals each of the past two seasons.

Torchetti has been coaching the club's American Hockey League affiliate in Iowa. He has nine seasons of NHL coaching experience, including stints as interim coach with the Florida Panthers in 2004 and the Los Angeles Kings in 2006.

Yeo was particularly slow to his news conference after Minnesota's4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday. Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher had previously told reporters Yeo wouldn't be fired.

"I knew what he said the other day, and I'm a realist," Yeo said to the media regarding Fletcher's comments. "You can't lose every game and expect to think that there's not going to be changes. I'm operating under the assumption that I'm going to be the coach tomorrow, and I know what I'm going to do, and it's going to be something different from what we've done."

There was no immediate word from the Wild on whether there would be further dismissals from the staff, which includes assistants Rick Wilson, Darryl Sydor, Darby Hendrickson and Andrew Brunette. Bob Mason is the goaltending coach.

After signing stars Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to 13-year, $98 million contracts four years ago, though, simply making the second round wasn't going to be good enough for long. Wild owner Craig Leipold, Fletcher and the rest of the organization had much higher expectations for a team that has fallen to 0-5-3 in the past eight home games for the longest winless stretch at Xcel Energy Center since 2001.

Yeo's status became tenuous last season, too, when a 2-8-4 stretch into mid-January prompted a trade for goalie Devan Dubnyk. The team's struggles were more specific then, and Dubnyk was an immediate remedy. They went 26-8-2 the rest of the way to surge into the playoffs.

The Wild drifted closer to .500 with the loss to the Bruins and now rest at 23-22-10 and in 11th place in the Western Conference.Minnesota has gone 3-12-4 in its past 19 games and has the fewest points in the NHL (10) in that span.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.