Former Wild head coach Mike Yeo will be the next head coach of the St. Louis Blues. But first, he’ll spend a year working as an associate to outgoing coach Ken Hitchcock.
Yeo will take over as head coach of the Blues in the 2017-18 season, the team announced Monday. For now, he joins a staff of assistants as associate coach, along with Rick Wilson, who joins as an assistant coach.
The Minnesota Wild fired Yeo in the middle of last season, and replaced him with interim head coach John Torchetti, who guided the Wild to the playoffs but ultimately got ousted in the first round by the Dallas Stars in six games. Torchetti, in turn, was replaced by former Ducks and Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau. Torchetti is now an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings.
Yeo went 173-132-44 in his four-plus seasons with the Wild. They made the playoffs in three of those years and got to the second round twice, but never got further than that.
Yeo was fired in mid-February, as the Wild had entered their seemingly annual midseason team slump.
“We’re excited to have Mike Yeo join us an an associate coach for next season and to become the next head coach for the St. Louis Blues for three years after that,” Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement published on the team’s website.
“For being 42 years old, he’s got a lot of experience. He’s won a Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh, he’s taken an American League team to the finals and you saw the good job he did in Minnesota in taking that team to the second round. What excites me is his experience, but with his age, he can really relate to today’s players and it’s an exciting day for our team.”