Bruce Boudreau will return as the Wild’s coach next season but his coaching staff will have a different look.
The team announced Wednesday that the contract of assistant coach John Anderson won’t be renewed and that he will be replaced by Dean Evason. There is little doubt this is a decision that comes from new general manager Paul Fenton.
Anderson and Boudreau are very good friends — Boudreau brought Anderson on board when he was hired as the Wild’s coach in 2016 — but Fenton is familiar with Evason, who spent the past six seasons as head coach of Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. The Admirals are the top minor-league affiliate for the Nashville Predators and Fenton worked in that team’s front office before joining the Wild last month.
Evason, 53, spent seven seasons as an assistant coach with the Washington Capitals before getting the Milwaukee job and was on Boudreau’s staff with the Caps for parts of five seasons from 2007 through 2012.
Evason played 13 seasons (1983-1996) in the NHL, spending time with the Capitals, Hartford, San Jose, Dallas and Calgary. The center had 372 points, including 139 goals. A fifth-round pick of Washington in 1982, Evason was a teammate of Fenton’s for three seasons. The two spent time together with the Whalers (1984-86) and the Sharks (1991-92).
Evason’s hiring comes one day after Fenton hired former North Stars general manager Jack Ferreira as a senior advisor. It was initially reported Ferreira had been named assistant general manager but that was incorrect.