The Minnesota Wild appear ready to finalize the obvious and inevitable, making San Jose Sharks assistant coach Todd Richards the second head coach in franchise history after the resignation of Jacques Lemaire, according to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.
Russo said sources have indicated that Richards has the team's offer and could be announced as early as Tuesday; his name has been linked with the Wild gig ever since Chuck Fletcher, whom he worked under as head coach of the Wilkes-Barre Baby Penguins, came over from the Pittsburgh Penguins to be Minnesota's GM.
TSN is also reporting it's a done deal, adding that assistant GM Tom Lynn has been let go.
From Russo on Richards:
He is an aggressive, up-tempo coach that fits the style Fletcher wants to play. As one NHL assistant coach who worked with Richards just told me, he's going to coach the way he played. He won't be a sit-back and watch coach, the person said. He's going to activate his defense and go-go-go.
There may be some concern out there that Richards has only been in the NHL for a year as a coach, but remember, you need to start somewhere and there are tons of successful coaches in the NHL that had limited experience in the big league before they got here - guys like Mike Babcock, Bruce Boudreau and most recently Dan Bylsma.
The Minnesota Wild and "go-go-go" hockey? Up is down, dogs and cats in marital bliss ...
This leaves the Calgary Flames and the New Jersey Devils as the only teams searching for coaches. This leaves Peter Laviolette, who was linked with the Minnesota job, still available for either of them to hire.
H/T to Puck Buddy Rhett A. for the story.