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Updated: June 12th, 2011 10:56pm
Report: Craig MacTavish gets second interview for Wild coaching job

Report: Craig MacTavish gets second interview for Wild coaching job

by Tom Pelissero
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Time is running short for the Minnesota Wild to have a coach in place before the NHL Draft -- and it appears they're moving closer to a decision.

The Star Tribune reported on Sunday night that longtime Edmonton Oilers coach Craig MacTavish had a second interview with the Wild last week and remains a strong candidate for the job.

It's been more than two months since the Wild fired Todd Richards after two seasons. Since, general manager Chuck Fletcher is known to have interviewed at least four candidates: former NHL coaches MacTavish, Ken Hitchcock and Michael Therrien and Houston Aeros coach Mike Yeo.

The draft, scheduled for June 24 and 25 at Xcel Energy Center, is one logical benchmark for having a coach in place. Fletcher presumably wanted to wait until the Aeros' playoff run ended to interview Yeo -- the Star Tribune reported they met on Friday -- although his age (37) and relative inexperience are considered by some insiders to make him too similar to Richards.

MacTavish, 52, was 301-252-103 in regular-season games from 2001 to '09 with the Oilers, who went to the Western Conference finals under his guidance in 2006. As a player, he was an 18-year veteran who had 213 goals, 267 assists and 891 penalty minutes in 1,093 games with five teams and was a part of three Staney Cup championship teams.

The NHL Finals will wrap by Wednesday, and at this stage, it would be surprise if Fletcher's decision is much further away.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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In this story: Todd Richards