Lose the interim tag, Dean. The Minnesota Wild have announced that Dean Evason will no longer be known as the interim head coach after taking on the full-time role and signing a two-year extension with the club. That contract keeps him in the organization through the 2021-22 season. Wild GM Bill Guerin released the following statement:
I am very excited to announce that Dean Evason is our full-time head coach. Dean has done a fantastic job as our interim head coach and deserves this opportunity. I look forward to watching our team under his leadership going forward.
There were quiet signs that Evason had impressed Guerin recently, including his obvious connection with young star Kevin Fiala from their days in the minor leagues. Michael Russo of The Athletic (subscription required) detailed how that connection has worked out well for the team, as Fiala grew into an all-situations presence and scored a career-high 54 points in just 64 games this season.
Evason, a veteran of over 800 NHL games as a player, was the head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals for six seasons before joining the Wild as an assistant in 2018. This will be his first real opportunity leading an NHL bench and he’ll get a chance to make quite an impact when the team takes on the Vancouver Canucks in a qualification round.